Coming out story

The Bookworm's picture

So, I guess I wanted to put my coming out story here, for some reason. The following paragraphs are an excerpt from a letter I wrote to one of my favorite authors, who so happens to be lesbian so when I wrote to tell her how much I loved her book I put my coming out story in there as well. Here goes.

I realized I’m lesbian during...October, I believe, of seventh grade. Actually that’s not quite correct. That October one of my close friends (I’ve known this girl since I was eight) kissed me on the forehead, which is not unusual for her. She does that to most people she’s really close to, sort of as a way of showing that she’s close to them in a sisterly fashion. I realized that I wanted to kiss her back, not in a sisterly fashion. Shortly after working that out I experienced my first real crush, which is only truly notable because of the quantity of time I spent thinking about it. That October I realized I had a crush on a girl. I didn’t have a problem with this, I just had no idea what was going on and what this meant in terms of the rest of my life. I cannot count the number of nights I spent awake thinking “Okay. So I’m gay. Umm, what does that actually mean?” ( later people kept asking me “are you sure this isn’t just a phase?” It never occurred to me that it might just be a phase. Never even occurred to me that I could have been bi. I don’t crush lightly, and I had never crushed on anyone on the basis of physical appearance, not just personality, so I guess I realized that, physically, I simply don’t crush on guys.) I realized that not only did I not want to ask anyone what it meant to be gay (Where I live we’re generally pretty damn socially liberal and not prone to huge fits of homophobia, so I was less worried about that than simply about discussing my feelings.) but that, chances are, they wouldn’t know any more than I did. So I read every book I could find in the school library that included anything related to LGBTQ people. (god that’s an annoying acronym. Not only is it unwieldy, it’s incomplete. There should be a P for pansexual and, if you’re a sci-fi/Doctor Who/Torchwood fan, an O for omnisexual, a phrase specifically invented (to my knowledge) to describe Jack Harkness, who would (if you’ll pardon the language) fuck anything with rudimentary language skills.) I read incredible books, such as Annie On My Mind and Between Mom and Jo (that one is horribly depressing), good books (such as Am I Blue...although it did have annoying/depressing AIDS overtone and thus I since avoided anything written in the 90s), funny but obnoxious books (Absolutely, Positively, NOT was one of those) and truly awful, stereotyped books (which I have blessedly forgotten the titles of). In about two months I had read through all the books in the library that come up on computer searches for “lesbian” or “gay” or just about anything remotely related that I can think of.
Now, my coming out story is a tad on the painful side, but only to me. So, it was February, at this point. I was in a incredibly stressful relationship (we were ‘together’ err, sort of.) with one of my close friends (who, despite my breaking up with her, is still one of my best friends) who wasn’t out to anyone except me—I had long since come out to the people I Nordic ski with, which is odd, I grant you, but worked well for me because I trusted them but they weren’t my best friends on the planet so I could tell them without worrying about how they reacted because if they never spoke to me again I wouldn’t care much—and I we were doing sex ed in Life Skills. One day, (I must have totally lost it, this day) we were discussing why we didn’t want to have children before going to college, and I guess I sort of snapped. I was sick of people asking me what boys I liked, sick of Life Skills, a class which was irrelevant to anyone who wasn’t straight, sick of wondering how people would react if I told them, and so when it came my turn I said “I’m lesbian and thus sick of these woefully irrelevant conversations.” For about ten or twenty seconds no one made any noises at all. Then the teacher (also the school counselor) said “okay” and class moved on. I guess I created a bit of a stir in school gossip circles, but since I’m not in any gossip circles, I didn’t really care. I was too worried about explaining this to my parents, who I don’t think I’d be comfortable discussing relationships with even I were straight. So the teacher called my parents, and my mom sat me down in my room and started talking at what felt like about 500 words per minute, but I don’t remember a single word she said. As far as I’m concerned the message I got from her was “I’ll support you no matter what but I’m freaking out here anyway”. Then my dad came in and said “We just want you to be healthy and happy[actually, he was a bit more elaborate]” and gave me a hug. My dad understands me much better than my mom does. Of course, I had totally alienated myself to most of my grade and my best friend stopped talking to me (she’s Mormon...we’re friends again now, she decided not care.) which made the rest of seventh grade living hell.
For about three weeks I completely regretted ever speaking in Life Skills, but later for 8th grade I had new (male—most (all but 3 or 4) of the girls avoided me, but that’s okay, they’re bitches anyway) friends who I’m really pretty close to and who understand me better than my friends did in 7th grade. I don’t think they would have been comfortable spending as much time with me as they did if I hadn’t come out, they’re the type of people who avoid any situation where anyone could possibly hit on them, and in coming out I essentially said “I’m not going to seriously crush on you and I don’t really care what you think of me”. So now I no longer regret coming out in the way I did, except I wish I had told my parents myself.


elph's picture

Wow... Powerful!

And extremely evocative.