Coming Out: What It Was Like And How It Changed Me
It's so unfair. That's all you need to know before reading the rest of this post. The fact that I had to disclose my sexuality just to feel a sense of belonging in this world is so unfair. Nothing I say or write will ever change that. For anyone who still hasn't came out, or is just now thinking about it, all I can really say is this; I'm sorry you feel the need to hide your sexuality. I'm sorry that you spent years of your life pretending to be someone you're not. I'm sorry that society defines people based on who they love. And I'm sorry the world is missing out on seeing the real you.
The purpose of this post is not to tell you how to come out. It's to give you some insight on what it's like and what to expect. Coming out is a process, and I assure you, this will not be my only post on the topic. I take this topic very seriously, as it impacts so many young adults and children all across the world. I share my thoughts on this topic not for your comments or sympathy, but for hope that my words will help someone somewhere become a stronger person.
Please have an open heart and an open mind as you read this post, this is important:
What Was It Like Being Closeted?
Each day that goes by is another in which the world has to move forward without you. Your story never gets told, your plans for this earth never materialize, and you're just kinda stuck. Your self confidence is non existent, and you just feel like an extra in someone else's movie. People like you, but you don't like yourself, and it makes you wonder "Do they like me because they think I'm straight, or do they know I'm gay?". And it drives you crazy.
You're an honest person but you live a lie for years- sometimes an entire lifetime. For those of you reading this that are not gay: Imagine the pressure you feel when you've told a lie and you're afraid someone is gonna "out" you. Now take that pressure and multiply it by about twenty years. Every day you wake up and wonder, "How am I gonna protect myself and my secret today?".
It's exhausting. Your mind slowly deteriorates, you become moody, and you wonder if your life will ever change. You start questioning if you're protecting yourself or slowly killing yourself.
When Did You Know You Were Ready To Come Out?
Being closeted for the majority of your life, lying becomes the only thing you really know; lying to others and yourself. And eventually it starts affecting your mental health. One day you wake up and you feel hopeless, and you know you've had enough. You become so mentally and physically exhausted of not living the life you want to live that you break down. And you break down so hard that it just doesn't matter anymore. You don't care if people know why you're breaking down. You need attention, you want attention, and you want to explain yourself. And then it just kinda happens.
There's no set time frame or a set date that you will or should come out. You just know. Some people feel this earlier on in their lives and others later. And I'm sure if you ask any of them when they knew they were ready to come out, they'd say something along the lines of, "I was tired of lying, and I wanted to start living. I just knew it was time."
What Is It Like To Come Out?
Coming out is terrifying. You're not afraid of rejection (maybe you are and that's okay), but you're mainly afraid of the unknown. Not knowing what you're going to feel like after, not knowing how people will react, not knowing what dating and sex will be like, not knowing how you'll change. It's scary transitioning from the "before" part of your life to the "after" part of your life. Your life becomes split into two halves: Closeted and Out.
Out is better. Out is ALWAYS better. Unfortunately, you may face some rejection once you come out, and some people may walk away, but that's not your fault. You had to come out. You had to do this for yourself. You had to give yourself a chance to live the life you deserve to live. So even if you face rejection after coming out, at least you're OUT.
How Does Coming Out Change you?
After coming out, you look at life through a different lens. The world becomes tangible. It's like spending twenty years in a museum and finally being able to touch the paintings. You were surrounded by all of these beautiful opportunities and you're finally allowing yourself to chase them. Your personality changes. You're happier, and you start becoming more comfortable expressing yourself the way you want. You give yourself an identity, and it's a pretty cool one.
And you look back at old pictures of yourself and you feel bad. It's like looking into the eyes of a stranger. You are worlds away from the person staring back at you. But you're happy looking into the eyes of that stranger, because you know that you give them a happy ending.