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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA students share their coming out experiences

    The process of “coming out” for LGBTQ individuals is often portrayed in a singular fashion. An individual finding self-acceptance by publicly proclaiming their sexuality or gender identity can conjure images of warm hugs and waving of the pride flag, but not every coming out experience ends in a Diana Ross song. In reality, coming out is a complex process that is unique to every individual. In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, several UA students have decided to share their coming out experiences. Because it is such a personal and sensitive process, the authors of these stories will remain anonymous.

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    1

    “I pulled my parents aside and said something like ‘well actually there is one thing we’ve been talking about in therapy, can you guys get out of the car for a second.’ They did and before I knew it they were both standing in front of me. I stumbled on my words at the beginning but eventually it came out ‘I’m gay.’ My parents were visibly shocked and immediately asked ‘Really?’ and ‘Are you sure you’re not bi?’ To which I answered ‘No I don’t think so.’ Regardless, I told my parents at the time that I was 100-percent gay and into dudes and only dudes. I made sure that I told them that I didn’t expect them to just suddenly be cool with it; I knew they would need time.”

    2

    “I came out in freshman year of high school, which wasn’t hard because I went to a very liberal arts charter school. My sister outed me to my parents in my junior year because she was getting questions from her friends about my sexuality. My family has advised me to swear secrecy to the rest of my family. If I had my choice in coming out to my parents, I’d have waited until it was more relevant in my life (I didn’t date seriously until college), but life usually doesn’t work out the way you plan it.

    In many ways, I envy the people who stay in the closet, for they never have to deal with changing the way they live. I hope that we’re heading in a direction as a society that is profoundly accepting of people of diverse sexualities and genders, but we’re not there yet, and I can’t really explain the shame I feel in sacrificing my freedom of expression to maintain family dynamics. I hope someday that I don’t have to hide and plow on.”

    3

    “So I had gone out on my first date with my now fiancé. I got home the next morning at 5 a.m. We sat in my truck and just talked for over five hours. I was walking on clouds. My mom was sitting on the couch watching something on TV, but not really paying attention. I went into the kitchen to see if there was coffee in the pot, and as I was walking past the couch to the hallway to my room, I said ‘Mom, I need to tell you something.’ She asked what, to which I replied, ‘I went on a date with a boy last night.’ She said ‘okay’ and looked back to the TV.

    Three days later she runs up to me crying and hugs me, asking me why I didn’t think I could tell her, all of that sort of thing. It took three days for her to realize what I had told her. It was hilarious.”

    4

    “Coming out as bisexual was a bit tricky. I slowly came out to multiple friends and then my siblings and although I’m not sure it’s clear to everyone I’ve ever met that I’m bi, it shouldn’t matter and I don’t think I should ever be defined by my sexuality. I feel like bisexuals are constantly marginalized by either end of the spectrum, demanding that we pick a side. A lot of that is starting to disappear and I’m glad that understanding of fluid sexuality is developing, but unfortunately it wasn’t a concept my parents could readily grasp. I didn’t think I was ready to tell my parents because their view of sexuality was so narrow-minded.

    It finally happened when my mom said while referencing a friends’ daughter who had come out, ‘If one of you turned out to be gay—’ I stopped her right there and said ‘Mom, you know I like girls too, right?’ She was taken aback at first but then realized she saw it coming. She told me I had always been unconventional and I guess being bisexual was just another part of the enigma. Although there’s still some tension with some people, I’m lucky to have family and friends who can see past my label of sexuality.”


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