My Coming Out Story

My Coming Out Story

Coming out has been the most important decision of my life.
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For someone who is in the LGBT community, coming out is one of the hardest things they will do in their lives. It holds people back from being their true self and makes it so they have to hide parts of their personality. Coming out is very important for people because it leads to more of society accepting the community. I wanted to share my coming out story because it has led me to where I am today, which has made me an overall happy human being.

When I was a kid, the word "gay" was not really mentioned in my house. It was never discussed as something that was wrong or taboo. I did not even see it being discussed much on television. It was the late 90's and early 2000's so LGBT people had little representation in the media.

I had always known that I was gay. There was no moment of realization; I just knew. When boys my age started to develop crushes on girls, I started to notice that I did not. I got crushes on boys and knew that it was not something that people would be completely okay with.

Around the time I was in 3rd grade, people started to use gay as an insult, so I assumed that it was something that was not going to be accepted with open arms. Throughout middle and some of high school, I hid it the best I could and had no plan to tell anyone. When friends would ask me if I had a girlfriend, I would just say I didn't like anyone at the time or just make up a fake story. It began to eat me up inside. I hid parts of my personality that I thought would out me to everyone. I would assume some things would come off as flamboyant and change the way I acted around others. I had a big fear that people would see through my big lie and out me to everyone else. I would hang out with mostly females because I felt more comfortable with them. I had no plans to come out even though I had accepted it in my head. It was still something that was always on my mind.

During the second semester of my sophomore year, I started to get closer to my friend, Becky (I change names so they don't feel called out.) Her boyfriend began to feel jealous of us hanging out. I then saw this as an opportunity to tell everyone the truth. I texted my now best friend, Micaela, and told her the truth. She was incredibly happy about the news and was very accepting. Telling my parents was the hardest thing I was ever going to do. When I told my mom, she reacted in a neutral way, with a lot of questions. She also asked to keep it a secret from everyone in our family, which was hurtful but I understood. My father slowly found out, and we still do not talk about it to this day. I think the rest of my family knows but does not talk about it. Coming out has still made me a happier person. It has lead me to make the decisions that I have made so far in life and also has led me to meet amazing friends during the past years.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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When You Decide You Don't Love Me Anymore

I'll forgive you.

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I never thought I would write this, but I feel like I have to: there will come a day where you won't love me anymore. This won't be a sad day, but instead a day I have waited for all along. You see, they all leave and that is perfectly okay. People may not be meant to be in my life for all of it, not in any of our lives but this is normal and although initially saddening it is a part of our lives and inevitably part of our journey.

When this time comes I want you to know that we did our best, that we were in fact in love once and that we had hoped it would blossom into a lifetime commitment but it didn't and I accept that and will respect you always. I know you did not wake up one day out of the blue and stop loving me, I know this feeling grew over time in your heart and that it was not something you planned on. I respect this.

You were the only person I trusted and the one I loved the most, but nothing lasts forever and I hope you can understand there is no animosity here and certainly, no stone left unturned. We just are not those kinds of people, we would have tried everything to keep our love burning bright and tried for quite a while to understand where the cracks began so that could fix them, it just isn't that simple. Love is a long complicated process, you know that and falling in love with me couldn't have been easy, I am misunderstood and stubborn as all hell and I am FULLY aware of that but that does not mean I didn't try to ease up on you, I promise I did my best.

I have always done my best to understand you, to make you happy, to keep the flame alive, but it has been extinguished. Love does that sometimes, it is there one day burning bright and then it slowly starts to dim with every fight, every unrequited "I love you" and every day passing by in which we spoke less and less about the things that mattered and more and more about worthless things.

This is all okay, it is a season of life, a part of our lives in which we do suffer but one we must grin and bear. I want you to know that I will always love and care for you, although it is now in a much different way, now we no longer look at each other with doting eyes and open hearts but instead with the freedom to let go and move on.

It is time for us to go on with our lives and find a new adventure, one that will light our hearts on fire instead of continuing to snuff our joint flame. You will always be in my memory and a huge part of my life that I once had but I accept that it's over and that time sometimes wears on things as it has worn on us.

You are the love of my life and that is truly the reason I must forgive you.

Goodbye, my love.

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