Since we get a lot of questions from people who are thinking about coming out, I thought it might be helpful if some of us who are out at least a tiny little bit shared our experiences. :-)
So, for those of you who are out to your friends and/or relatives: how did they react when you told them you were gay/lesbian/bi/trans/whatever? Were they cool with it, did they freak out, did they ask questions? How did you feel after you'd told them?
As for me:
My parents are still in total denial, but that's typical behavior for them. Since I've been out on my own for the past six years, and don't see much of them anymore, right now I don't see any pressing need to try to pound it through their heads that I'm *not* straight. If I had a girlfriend I was serious about, I'd probably feel differently, and might try again.
My friends weren't at all surprised -- in fact, most said they'd wondered why I hadn't told them sooner. I felt tremendously better after telling them -- I'd hated keeping that part of my life hidden from them.
These days, I'm very matter-of-fact about it. I don't run around announcing that I'm queer, but I make no effort to hide it, either. I'm comfortably out, and it's a good feeling. I always hated being in the closet.
My parents were shocked. They seem over that shock now and I thought they were pushing it under the rug but then about a week ago, my dad asked me the most wonderful question he could have asked me. I went over to one of my female friends house's and we're both very physical and touchy feely (and the fact that we're interested in each other doesn't really help...) and my dad asked, "So, is there anything between you and her?" That simple question made me soooooo happy.
My friends, they're all cool with it. And I have this policy with a few of my friends that's "Ask me ANY question you want and I'll most likely answer it" so those people that are "policy holders" have access to near anything they want to know about me and I think all of them have asked, at least once, something having to do with my sexuality. But everyone I know is all cool with it and doesn't seem to care. Actually, I don't think they do at all. A funny story, sort of, on the topic of that ... one of my girl-friends was asking one of my guy-friends who he liked and when he wouldn't answer, she got really ... mad, kinda and started just naming people. So when she guess Quack (yes, people actually call me Quack in real life) he said, "Well, that may pose a small problem ..." It was funny.
Anyway ... at first I was very cautious about who knew but now I think near everyone I know knows and, again, doesn't care. I'm very open about it. If I'm talking to someone, I'll maybe mention an ex-girlfriend or something. And the fact that I carry around my "Gay Crayon" (a really cool crayon that I "borrowed" from deep storage that's a rainbow crayon ... very cool) and color all over everything and boast about my Gay Crayon.
I told my mum about a year ago. I don't plan on telling my dad anytime soon - he's mad enough about the amount of time I spend on the computer. My mum is even making me read "7 habits of higly effective teens". It's a pretty good book, but I don't see it helping me greatly.
Pretty much everyone besides my family (apart from mum) know, and I'm glad. I can't wait to go to college where there will hopefully be a big group of GLBT people.
I tend to let people know about my sexuality soon after I meet them so I don't have to jump the "why didn't you tell me sooner" hurdle. A couple of my teachers know, as do most of my friends, my mum knows, and my dad might (if my mum told him). My homophobic best friend turned out to be cool with it but one night I slept over her house and drooled over Gillian Anderson a bit much...it's all good now though :0)
I copied and pasted the above. I think I'l go back to bed.
Hugs & Scully, Winnie :0)
Posts: 465 | From: Canberra, ACT, Australia | Registered: Jan 2001
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I've only just started to come out to people, outside my close circle of best friends. This has been mainly instigated by one friend outing me to my class. I'd get pissed off with him - but what's the point? Most people at my school are OK with it, though u can see that inside their not completely comfortable. Posts: 59 | From: London, UK | Registered: Sep 2001
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The only family member I've really told is my mom, she thinks I'm going through a phase. However, she never made a big deal out of it. We don't ever discuss it but then it doesn't really come up often. Like Kythryne said, if I had a girlfriend of some sort I'd want a little more acknowledgement of this but as things stand now, it's not a big deal. To her credit she has always said that she'd love me no matter what and she has done nothing to the contrary.
As far as my friends go, only two have had a problem with it, both girls. The girl who has been my best friend for the majority of my life thinks it's "weird" and doesn't like it at all. We're still very close though. Another friend from work gets frustrated when I'm looking at some girl instead of the guy she thinks is hot. (We have drastically different opinions of what's attractive - for both genders.)
The rest of my friends have been great about it. One of my guy friends said we should go out and try to meet girls together some time. Another friend from work had a hard time getting over the idea; apparently I'm the only nonheterosexual person he's ever met. He wanted to talk about it - extensively which made me uncomfortable at first but I'm glad we did because I was forced to think which is always a good thing. Now, however, he is incredibly supportive.
Some people just make me hestitate a bit. I told some of the girls at my gas-money-until-ski-season job that it was national coming out day and they made jokes about how I knew that. It was very good natured but yes, there was something I wanted to tell them. I didn't though because the good-humored kidding made me wonder about how they would react. Would they still be comfortable being around me?
I prefer honesty to dishonesty in all cases and I feel slightly dishonest if someone I care about doesn't know I'm bi. However, sometimes it just isn't practical to tell them.
Final tally: no truly bad experiences, some indifferent, and some downright good. Boys seem to react better than girls. No one really knew until I told them but once I did they thought it seemed about right.
Kythryne, this is a great topic.
[Wow, did I get long-winded.]
[This message has been edited by ookuotoe (edited 10-29-2001).]
Well, I told my mom I'd found a website complaining about crossdressers, and asked what she thought of them. I'd guessed she'd be lukewarm about it, so I wasn't surprised at her answer. "Just keep an open mind and remember God made all of us the way He wanted us to be." It still took her by surprise when I asked for help making a skirt a couple of days later.
I talked to my dad about it once, and he's under the impression that crossdressers are mostly gay, so he doesn't know.
My girlfriend mentioned a couple of times that she enjoyed dressing guys up to look like girls, so she was pretty happy
As of right now, that's all the people that know. I think that's all the people that need to. At least until I'm ready to get weird looks by walking around University in a skirt
------------------ Sapphire Cat You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.
My whole family doesn't know yet, but my brother does. He really doesn't care. In fact, I think we've gotten a little closer. We share dirty magazines now. :evil
My friends didn't change much. Some were leery, but my coming out inspired several others to do likewise. Joy joy joy! I got a girlfriend out of that. Sweet deal...
------------------ *When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. -From "Basic Sex Facts For Today's Youngfolk" in "Life In Hell'', by (Matt Groening)
well.. all my friends know... and strangers heh.. im bi... my family on the other hand does not know... i know my mother wouldnt care.. her best friend is gay.. but still im nervice.. like when my girlfriend sleeps over.. my mom will be all like she does when im around guys (over protective.)none of my friends care... theyre all cool with it.. the first one who found out was my boyfriend last year... we got i na fight and he told my best friends.. but they were cool with it.. so i became more open.. so now any one who asks knows... well cept for relatives...once i sorta came out i found out more of my friends were too.. so its all cool and happy
------------------ -allie-darkstar- if you could cheer me up i could learn to love you
Posts: 1 | From: old bridge, nj, usa | Registered: Nov 2001
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Well, I'm kind of in the process of coming out as bi... I'm still warming my close friends to the idea and dropping hints (like doing an English project on gays on TV, which led to all sorts of jokes and light hearted guesswork), and I've told a couple of my closest friends, a guy and a girl. The guy was a bit disappointed because he always wanted us to be more than friends and I always refused and now he has more competition, but he's been totally supportive and a great friend. The girl thought it was cool that I'm bi, and I'm hoping the rest of my friends act like those two did when I tell them. As for my family, nobody knows yet, and I'll probably have to come out to them "with a bang" instead of easing them into the idea, and hope for the better. They have supported me before in decisions I've made even though they didn't like them (like me wanting to join the Air Force), so I'm staying optimistic. :)
------------------ Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile away - and barefoot.
Well my mother is the only one out of my whole family (Next to my cousin) who knows I'm bi. My mother just replied with "Oh most girls your age go through that phase", and with me mumbling something in reply.
My friend's know, and they're all great about it, but I found out one of my friends was actually homophobic, and was scared of me. That's all good now though.
I'm also pretty sure nearly everyone who knows me at school knows I'm bi, but luckily the school I go to now has a very good mixture of people from different cultures and lifestyles.
I am going through the worst time of my life, and I'm only 15.
I've been out for 3.5 weeks now, and I still get asked, at least 3 times daily, Are you gay? It just annoys me. And then I get the whole load of homophobic comments aswell.
On top of this some of my more homophobic friends have abandoned me, I think my immediate family will react badly, I know that my outer family is homophobic, I'm in love with my straight best friend and my works on the down because I can't concentrate whilst being mocked and taunted.
On the upside, I'm telling the truth. You do the math.
As for myself, I realized I was attracted to women after falling in love with my best friend. Luckily for me, she did the same. We have been dating for 5 months and are roommates and that is going great. However, neither of us even thought of women that way before, so it is still new and nobody, not even us, knew before we started dating.
She has told her sister, who was shocked but took it well. She wants to go to a gay bar with us and another straight friend for our anniversary!
Nobody in my family knows, but a good friend knows and thinks we're cute. She's really supportive too. My girlfriend told a gay friend at work and he talks with her a lot and helps, and I talk to a lesbian friend of my sister's over e-mail (my sister doesn't know that).
I'm afraid to tell most of my family, except my Mom, but I don't want to ask her to keep it from Dad and my sister either. Also, they don't have time to adjust to the fact that I love women before finding out that I have a girlfriend already. As a matter of fact, I don't know if I am lesbian or bi, and I am afraid if I can't answer that question, they will think it is a phase and I'm not serious about our relationship. Our friends are happy that we are happy together and don't even care if we are sure about anything else, but parents are different.
Any advice anyone?
Posts: 2 | From: Indiana (Yeah, we have corn...) | Registered: Nov 2001
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Kathryne: As long as your happy, forget your sexual orientation. It doesn't matter whether you're bi, gay or even straight. This girl may be the only woman you'll ever love, maybe the first of many.
When you tell your parents (if you can get the courage to do so), first tell them that you love this girl, and then that you think you could love other women. The important thing is not to worry over your future relationships, but to enjoy the present one.
jazz, congratulations on telling your parents. I respect and admire your courage in doing it. I do hope they come around to at least accepting it, even if they don't approve or understand. It might be helpful to point them to PFLAG, if you haven't already. I found there's a group in West Yorkshire -- is that anywhere near you? I'm shamefully ignorant of UK geography, and my reference books are all packed away in a box somewhere, since I just moved and barely know where my own head is yet.
Well, I am one of those chickens who hasn't told very many people yet. I can actually count on two hands the number of people that I've told. But, those who I have told were very supportive... although, a little disconserting. A few of them responded by saying "I knew it!" That was a little uncomfortable. Other than that, though, all of their reactions were very positive, thankfully. Their support is what's pushed me to seriously consider coming all the way out of this proverbial closet.
------------------ Tim (a.k.a. the dude) ------------------------- "I am man who has grown from a son Been crucified by enraged women I am son who was raised by such men I'm often reminded of the fools I'm among... I am a man who still does what he can to dispel our archaic reputation I am a man who has heard all he can Cause I don't fare well with endless punishment..." -- Alanis Morissette ("A Man")
Hey Jazzpenguin...I'm so happy for you *hugs* I'm sure that over time they will get used to the idea of you being gay. Good luck.
Posts: 86 | From: South Africa | Registered: Oct 2001
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Hi, I'm new to actually posting, though I've been visiting the site for nearly a year.
I'm 18 and a self-professed lesbian, which I really only realised about a year and a half ago. This all came about with my entry into college after having spent nearly ten years homeschooling with my parents.
Anyway, when I did finally make this determination, it was very hard for me to keep it under my hat and feel "right". I did tell my best friend, who lives in England, mostly because he is gay and I knew he would understand (having come out to me some three years earlier). But for a while, it was pretty tough.
In my chosen field of study (video production...think of it as "learning to make TV"), most of the students are in their 30s, having either never made it through college before or returning for a second degree. This is no problem for me, because I tend to get along better with people older than myself. However, the few women in the department are pretty bitchy, so I've always allied myself with the guys.
I ended up coming out first to a guy I work with at school, who is actually pretty close to my age: partly cos he's a terrible flirt, and partly cos he's a good, trustworthy sort of guy. He is devoutly religious, though, so I was very surprised when he took me completely seriously, and he's never broken my trust to this day. Later, I came out to my best friend at school (who is 31), and I think it actually helped, because I could tell he was a bit tense about having to justify hanging around a significantly younger girl so much, while having a girlfriend of his own. Now he's clear in his own mind, and I gave him leave to tell his girlfriend and sister (whom he lives with) as well - no sense inviting trouble.
Since then, I've come out to three or four other classmates, all of whom have been very cool about it. I actually bet most of the class has at least a glimmering of my sexuality, because I'm a bit eccentric and I wear men's shirts and hats and such - even though I'm not butch.
My parents...well, that's a different story. They are very open-minded people, and accepting, but I'm still somewhat afraid to tell them because, well...I just don't know what will happen. I don't think in the end it'd be bad, but it might be quite a shock for them, especially as I've never even been on a date before. Who knows, maybe they've already figured it out for themselves. A few clues point to that...my Dad recently got very uncomfortable when we rented a movie and two women started kissing in the middle of it, to the point where he actually said he had some stuff to do, but to go ahead and watch it without him. Ooookay, Dad... Anyway, like I said, I don't think it will be a problem in the long run, but I'd like to wait till I've moved to another college (as of this coming fall) and can explain it clearly in a letter, or something like that. I'm a writer, so I often find it easier to write something than to say it, and it could ease the process all the way around.
That's my two bits - sorry for being long-winded, but I think it's an important topic, and I wanted to join in. ;-)
"I give myself some very good advice, but I very seldom follow it..."
Posts: 2 | From: Knoxville, TN, USA | Registered: Jan 2002
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My best friend(hello m:i-2!!) and I were just discussing this last night about me coming out to her and I honestly have to say it was the best thing I've done in my life so far. I've come out to all my close friends, and well, I've regretted a few, not because of their reactions but because of the power they now wield over me as we all now hate each other. I'm not out to my mam and dad and I'm testing the water. I'm practically out to one of my teachers, not because I told her, but because I've dropped so many hints and flirt with her so often she'd just have to know(and I'm pretty sure she's gay too so she has the use of gaydar). I am worried about coming out to my mam and dad, mainly my dad though, because I'm stil his little innocent girl, but with my mam my kids will be a problem as, apparently she doesn't believe in gay couples haveing kids because it brings children up in a state of confusion. But, the best coming out was to my friend, we wouldn't be as close to each other now if I hadn't. And I came out to a girl in my class because we were sharing a room on a school tour and well, we've become fairly good friends after she stopped screaming and running around the classroom(I kid you not)
Posts: 896 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2001
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