Breaking the News
I came out to my family on Christmas Eve. My mom had suspected something was up for months, and despite asking me multiple times if I was gay, I denied it. I wasn’t ready to speak my truth. That is until Christmas Eve. Moments before the family was about to sit down for dinner, I spilled the beans and proclaimed my sexual identity. I don’t even remember what my mom had asked me, but my answer was: “It’s because I’m a lesbian!” Well okkkkkay then. I’m not sure why THEN, or in THAT way, I just remember being so tired of hiding it for so long that I think it just erupted out. No one really said much over the first few bites of dinner. There was awkward silence and silverware clanging on plates. Then my little sister realized her beloved cat was missing. BLESS HER.
The focus quickly shifted from the newly lesbian daughter to the missing cat and we all abandoned our Christmas ham in search of my feline martyr.
The cat hunt gave us all time to digest what had just happened and although I was afraid of what my parents were going to say when they finally processed everything, I remember feeling like this IMMEDIATE weight had lifted off my shoulders. I DID IT. I did what I never thought I would EVER have the courage to do. I came out to my family and I.FELT.GREAT! And for those of you wondering, we did find the cat?Ironically enough, the cat was found IN the closet. You can’t make this shit up.
Work To Be Done
I wish I could say that after I came out to my family everything was great and everyone was on board- but that wasn’t the case. My sister who was there that night, who was also surprised by the news, fiercely stood by me through everything. She helped me remember to honor myself and brought much needed laughter during some of the darker times. My step-dad and other siblings were also very accepting and open right off the bat. But my mom struggled. She had imagined a different life for me and with this news she felt her dreams for me came crashing down. I never doubted that she loved me, but I struggled to understand why she couldn’t just be okay with it. I struggled to understand why it was so hard FOR HER.
Then I realized something- before coming out, I had spent three to four years battling with the fact that I was gay. YEARS. And here I was expecting her to be on board within a week.
She needed time to process what this meant for me and time to reshape her dreams for my future. My mom recently told me that after I came out, she was in mourning for two years and would cry at the drop of a hat. It took her FIVE YEARS before she was even able to even talk about it openly with her friends. Eventually, she came around. I continued to fight for what felt right to me, and she continued to seek understanding. It took time. It was by no means an easy road for either of us to finally get to where we are today. There were a lot of ups and downs. Tears and hurt.
Following Your Heart
Coming out takes a lot of courage. And sometimes when people don’t react the way we wish that they would, we are devastated and want to write them off. But sometimes, people just need time. And as hard as that can be to accept, all you can do is continue to fight for your own truth while they figure it out. Ultimately, only you can decide who is deserving of that patience and who isn’t. All you can do is be you. Just know, there is a MASSIVE community ready to welcome you with open arms on the other side of the rainbow.
What’s YOUR coming out story? Or is it a story yet to be written? I always love hearing about other people’s experiences, so if you feel inclined, share it with me in the comments!