In November of 2019, I officially came out to my mother as a lesbian.
Although this was well known by my friends and colleagues, this was a secret kept away from my family for quite a few years, until I felt truly ready. I was raised in Georgia, and like almost every LGBT youth from the south, I was worried about how my parents would react. My parents are both devout Roman Catholics, with strong conservative backgrounds. I had read every horror story, watched hundreds of coming out videos, but none of them really got me to understand what it would be like to truly come out.
Silence. Will. Happen.
First off, Whether you have the most talkative parents on the planet or completely silent household- there will almost always be some silence after you let out your secret. This is normal! As big of news this was to tell them- it is just as nerve-wracking to them to try to answer to this big life change.
Every parent wants to see their child have a big wedding, buy a big house, and live a hetero-envisioned American dream. Sadly, you just completely shattered their entire vision of what your future will look like. This does not in any way mean they are handling it badly, or that you're about to get hurt, its just a long agonizing awkward silence. Your parents have raised you and want the best for you, but sometimes this news is a big shock. Let the awkward silence prepare you for their words- good or bad- and be ready to continue the conversation. Just telling someone you're gay is a lot to muster the courage for, but it is definitely not the only thing that needs to be said.
People are just going to assume you fit every stereotype.
Stereotypes are a thing for a reason, but you should never be equated to just a stereotype. You are your own person with your own emotions, thoughts, and personality. Just because you like girls does not mean you will like every girl you see, marry someone in three weeks, or need to look butch, feminine, or stud. Be you, whoever you are.
Just remember that people might be using stereotypes in order to relate with you as much as they do it in humor. Just let them know the real you, and I am sure the stereotype jokes will fade away.
Get ready for all the awkward questions you never wanted to answer!
Are you the top? Are you single now? Are you sure you're sure? Do you like masculine or feminine women? These are all questions I awkwardly had to answer in a car ride with my mom after I came out. Most people will not be LGBT, and sadly you're probably not going to catch a break on asking questions. But just remember, they're just trying to understand you. Although some questions might be better left in the brain...
The change is probably not as dramatic as you think.
Yes, coming out is scary. Very, very scary, And you're going to think the worst will happen, the world will end, and World World 3 will ensue soon after. Honestly, You will probably feel a little awkward, it might not go as well as you want it to, but you will be okay.
Coming out is a necessary evil on the way to happiness. It might feel really weird, but your friends and family love you. You are a very big part of their lives. They will love you no matter what, it might just take some time to get back to normal.
Coming out is not a one time thing.
Coming out is not a one-time thing. The big ones will always be nerve-wracking- but coming out isn't just to the important people in your life. You will come out to people you never even thought about. Doctors, friends, teachers, random men on the street. Every decision to tell others your sexuality comes for a different reason.
Whether it is so a random dude stops flirting, or because you want to talk about your girlfriend to a grocery store clerk, it is totally cool to come out and say you're gay. It may even help you feel more natural for big conversations.
Coming out is something almost every person of LGBT identity will do in their lifetime. It is a very nervewracking event. But if you keep your head up, it will get easier. It might not be the easiest thing to say the first, second or thirtieth time. But you will get to be uniquely you, a person created in perfection.
If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386, or text START to 678678. You are loved, cared about, and your sexuality does not define you. You will find a way to be happy.