My Coming Out Story: Anon
Include this article in your Skills Builder Journal. It could help you develop...
Coming Out shares your personal experiences and stories. Sometimes coming out can be easy, sometimes it can be difficult. Some people choose to tell their friends first, and then their family. Some people come out at an early age, some later in life. No matter how and when you do it, it’s important, and it’s part of who you are. And we’re here to celebrate that. Today, we’ve got a story from an NCS Grad who found coming out quite difficult at first…
Coming out has always been a complicated phrase for me because it has always felt so definitive. It suggests you can either be in or be out and that there is no in-between point where you might - or where you are allowed to - feel comfortable. As I write this, I want to reassure you that this is not the case at all.
Consider the writing of this article itself. It is a story all about coming out but yet it has no by-line; a paradox in itself. Yet completely possible because coming out should be your process and at your pace; never underestimate how brave you are just for existing on your own terms every day.
Looking back at the history of my “coming out”, it started off tumultuously. I was about 13 years old and I had begun to feel attracted to one of my classmates who was also bisexual. Young, feeling the first throngs of puberty, and therefore feeling very isolated and confused, I tried to validate these feelings in the only way that I knew how and confessed them to her. That was my first experience of coming out.
This led to one of the most difficult periods of my teenage life. Unfortunately, the person who I came out to shared it with someone that we both knew. Reflecting back now, I understand why they did it. It was a strange and confusing time for both of us, but their sharing did immeasurable damage to our friendship going forward. I know what I said was a bombshell and it makes sense now that this person felt they had to talk to someone about it.
However, the person they shared it with told the next person and the next person after that, and it became the class rumour of the year. So my first experience of being out amongst my peers was one of being outed.
As you can imagine, this was an incredibly unnerving time for me. People made assumptions about me, they started to distance themselves from me, and make fun of me. All of this was coupled with a sharp fear that my parents would eventually get wind of things. As a queer person of colour, I felt particularly unsafe at the prospect of my parents finding out.
When a new girl joined and I tried finding a way out of the loneliness by making friends with her, people started to ‘ship’ us together and say that I had feelings for her, even though we were just really good friends. This obviously added an even more awkward level to a new friendship.
Luckily however, things started to go on the up from there. This friend stuck by me despite many people trying to destabilise our friendship, and she really helped me build up my confidence and self-worth to realise that I still was worth knowing. This was vital to me at a time where I felt no one would notice if I simply disappeared.
Over the next few years, with the support of a strongly forming friendship group, I was able to find my feet again and feel less isolated and unsafe at school. Though in large, part of this was because I often avoided the subject of my sexual identity or played it down. I rarely talked about it with many people.
It was when I went to sixth form that I felt much more comfortable. It was a real opportunity to start afresh and to define my sexual identity on my own terms. I chose to come out to certain friends and found them to be far more supportive and understanding. This gave me a whole new perspective and allowed me to start on a journey of feeling proud and comfortable as a bisexual woman.
Now, I’m at university and the chance to live away from home and define the way I live my adult life has given me a real opportunity to find solace in the LGBTIQA+ community. I have found a community of queer friends and allies which has been invaluable to me. Recently, I joined the LGBTIQA+ Greens and have had the amazing pleasure of finding a community with them and participating in campaigns too. This has made me feel even more connected to the community.
I am excited to continue on my coming out journey and to see where it leads me. For now, I’m at a resting point but who knows what the future holds?
If you feel like you need some help with coming out, why not take a look at Stonewall’s advice. And, if you’re having any concerns about loneliness, isolation, low self-esteem or anxiety; you can contact The Mix who offer free information and mental health support to under 25s.