When I was kid I was taught that fairytales were real and that one day I would marry prince charming and live happily ever after; but as you grow up you realise real life isn’t a storybook and you don’t always follow the path your parents have set out for you. This is what happened to me.
Why do they even call it coming out? You don’t go out and not everyone has to do it, so why depending on who you fall in love with do you need to do it? And you don’t just come out once either, you have to come out for the rest of your life – Yet half of the population on this earth will never have to go through this process.
I knew from a very young age that there was something a bit different about me: it wasn’t my hair colour, my eyes, my skin but there was something different in the inside of me. My earliest memory of this was when I was twelve years old. I had (what I now know to be) the biggest crush on a girl who was a few years older than me, but at the time I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to be her friend or be her. I would shrug the feeling off through my school years, and having a boyfriend seemed the normal thing to do so I blended in for a while. I only ever had one serious boyfriend and that was in college before I came out at 17.
Coming out to my family was difficult, but I shouldn’t have had to do it at all.
Coming out at 17 was the scariest and most freeing moment in my whole life. I remember the day I came out – the first time. I was standing in my kitchen helping my mum with food shopping and I turned to her and blurted it out. I was petrified. This was all new to me, let alone telling my mum that I like women and not men.
No surprises she didn’t take it well. It took her well over a year, maybe two years, before she finally accepted that her daughter would only ever be with a woman and not a man. The first year was tough, coming out to all my family including grandparents was a rough ride. I was told: I “would never have a family”, I’d “end up living on the street” and my dad “would have never approved nor would he condone it”.
Coming out was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do and after several years of pain, upset, and anger everyone eventually came around. I am now almost 25 and I have never looked back. If I had to do it all over again I would come out a lot sooner.
For a long time I always thought there was something wrong with me but in fact there’s nothing wrong with me at all – I am the happiest I have ever been in a long time and I’m learning to love myself.
I guess if you take anything from this coming out story its that it does get better and you are never alone, not really. There is always someone who is going through the exact same as you, and as much as you might feel like you are fighting by yourself you are not. Life does get better and coming out does get easier.
All you need is faith, trust and pixie dust.