The Chapter About Coming Out For The First Time

11 Jan

This post is a little delayed and there should have been another one preceding this but between desperately trying to crack on with my 3000 word essay and making sure I keep up to date with posting daily at daily pistachio I’ve run out of time everyday!

Nevertheless, let’s get cracking on this now.

I returned ‘home’ (a term I use loosely – an explanation will be made eventually) from spending Christmas and New Year’s at my sister’s last Thursday. Thankfully the house I share with four other girls was empty – I always need a bit of space after leaving my sister because of how much I end up missing her.

Friday however I bumped into my American housemate I see little of and know little about. She’s nice enough. And then another housemate, G*, who I’m very close with came back from London. I knew that if I really wanted to start making changes in my life, in the way I am as a person, I needed to tell her that day that I was now gay.

Up to this point the only people who knew where my sister and my brother-in-law. People that would love me whether I decided I was gay or straight, no matter how unsure or indecisive I was. (I.e. I could have ‘backed out’ of being gay if I really wanted to).

I chatted and caught up with G for a fair while talking about normal things you talk about when you haven’t seen each other for three weeks. We came to a natural close in our conversation and I needed to go for a brief food shop so I went to my room to grab my jacket and money. At this point I really thought that I should just tell her. I’d wanted to when we’d been in conversation before but guess what? I bottled out of it. I was afraid.

What if she thought less of me? What if she wondered just what the hell I was on about? How could I be gay? Three weeks ago I’d been straight and technically ‘involved’ with a guy in our friendship group!

Those thoughts and others about wondering if I really wanted to do this, come out as gay, make it really a part of me, taunted me for about ten minutes. I flitted between my room and the top of the stairs wondering just what to do. And then I decided. I was going to tell her.

I stomped down the stairs, went into her room we had a brief chat about my new purse (I forgot that I was desperately clutching it to my chest) and then I started it. I said ‘I have a confession…’ she immediately, in a non-serious and typical manner for her said ‘what did you do?’

I kissed a girl on Christmas Eve. I think I’m gay.”

And do you know what her reaction was? Absolutely nothing to worry about. She asked quite a few questions, most of which I didn’t have the answer to for myself yet, but she accepted it and that was that and I popped off to the shop to get my food.

The best thing about it all is that nothing about our friendship or our dynamic of living together has changed. I know for at least two days after telling her I worried that things would be different but there is literally nothing different from before.

That’s when you know you have a beautiful, honest friendship and G will always have my gratitude for that.

That same evening my male best friend, W, wanted to see me. Me and him get along extremely well. I had once convinced myself he was my perfect husband, and we do have history (that none of our friends know about) but we couldn’t get along better as friends and for that he means a lot to me.

When I settled into thinking I was gay I knew that W needed to be one of the first people I told. I know things about him none of our friends know and we just have a special comfortable friendship that I knew I could pour my honesty into and not regret it.

So I told him. Pretty much the same as I told G – “I kissed a girl. I think I’m gay… etc” and he took it so easily! He was actually relieved to hear I’d ended things with the ‘involved boy’ (who he lives with!) and it was an extremely straightforward conversation.

The second round time of actually saying to someone “I’m gay” was a lot easier than the first. Unfortunately I haven’t seen anyone else since because I’m dying to just get it out there now! There are some people I’m still fearful about regarding their possible reactions but again I’ll know who I really can count on once I’ve told them.

My advice to anyone that’s coming out to that first person is tell someone you’re close with. The beauty of mine and G’s friendship is that she spent some time in hospital for something that could have been extremely serious and I looked after her. I cut up her food and fed her fork to her. I tucked her into bed. I stayed by her side whilst she slept. We’re close from that because I’ve seen her at her most vulnerable and was right there ready to be there for her. Find someone who you can show your vulnerable side to. Chances are they’ll be just as easy to talk to as G was for me. My sister also played a massive part in me even being able to tell anyone else. We are as close as sisters get.

Don’t be afraid. Or more to the point, don’t bottle out of it. If I’d bottled out of telling G and W what I did, when I did how much worse would I have felt if I’d waited a few weeks, a month, to tell them even though I’d know for much longer? How much harder would it have been if I’d kept it a secret to myself? I probably would have talked myself out of being gay by that point! It’s OK to be afraid and scared, but that’s why you tell the people you trust the most first because they’ll put up with anything from you and still love you. Start sharing with people as soon as you can and have courage about it. You’ll feel bloody amazing just after the first time, let alone the second. Keep it going.

Always be aware of how you’re feeling through the process. If I had a list of all the different emotions I’ve been going through it literally wouldn’t ever end. Never condemn yourself for feeling a particular way at any particular time, just be aware of it and see if you can help yourself productively.

Remember you are never alone. If you genuinely don’t feel like you have someone to talk to there are plenty of people online ready and waiting to help and listen to you. I haven’t visited may gay websites yet but Diva does have a forum and if nothing else do a google search. Better than that, talk to me. I’m here and going through it all as well, just like you.

* to protect identities I’ll be using initials that only have meaning for me.

2 Responses to “The Chapter About Coming Out For The First Time”

  1. ElizOF January 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Em,
    It is a brave/courageous/empowering act to claim your full identity and know deep in your heart that you have the love and support of your friends and family.
    I applaud you for stepping up and stepping out; especially in a world filled with people who have all sorts of twisted ideas about self definitions.
    You shared some excellent points/tips and I pray that others, particularly teens, who need the advice will find comfort in your experience and, perhaps, use your story as a way to break the ice with their loved ones. :-)
    Cheers,
    Elizabeth

    • Em January 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Thanks for your support Elizabeth!

      This will always be first and foremost for myself but I really do hope that my posts help someone else down the line. :-)

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