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Coming Out & Varying Reactions

Updated on July 6, 2017

coming out, gay, lgbt, lesbian

I think one of the hardest things to do as a member of the LGBTQA+ community is to come out. Sure, there are plenty of challenges to face but in my opinion, nothing is as scary as coming out. There are so many people you will have to come out to during your lifetime, and sometimes you're faced with people who are unsupportive. You think you know who some people are until you tell them you're gay or you're trans and their whole view of your changes.

The first time I came out was after a long and tiring week of denial about my sexuality. I wanted to deny being a lesbian, I wanted to fight it and pretend it wasn't true. I don't know why it was so hard to come to terms with it, but it was. This was sixth grade, not long before I was set to move to a different city. I had told all my friends and they were very supportive. I felt so much love in that moment, and I felt comfortable. I was happy, until word got around. In a school filled with rich parents and their spoiled children, was an oddity to have someone who was openly gay in the school.

Somehow, people I didn't even know knew me. I would be approached at lunch and asked if I was, "that gay girl." People even began assuming I had crushes on people I didn't particularly like. School came to an end, and summer started. I had developed a few friends my age within my neighborhood. And, I was set to leave soon. I wanted to be honest with at least one of them, let them know what I came to terms with. This would be the first time I ever experienced someone who wasn't supportive. I told him flat out, I didn't hold anything back. I told him that I liked girls and I was so happy now.

He told me how disgusting that was and that I would end up going to Hell because of it. I'm not a religious person so this didn't bother me any. But, the fact that he thought of me and who I was as disgusting really hit me hard. Up until that point, everyone had been supportive. I told my parents with a note slipped under their door, they didn't have any problem with it. And my friends never made it seem like they didn't support me. I was so lucky to be surrounded by people who loved me that I couldn't even fathom that people could see things differently. It seems all thoughts of homophobia were masked by love.

And then, I moved to a brand new city and entered a new middle school. Here, I was the new kid and that already created some buzz. But then it dawned on me, I'd have a new group of friends. Friends who would be so blissfully unaware of my sexual orientation. Suddenly, I was overcome with fear yet again. What if these new friends didn't like me? What if they weren't supportive like my old friends? Should I even bother coming out? These questions swarmed in my head for the whole first week. Eventually, I did come out and they were more supportive than ever.

Things had been going so well, and I even had a girlfriend during eighth grade. That relationship soon came to an end though. High school was a whole new ground for me. All the middle schools came together so I knew there'd be more kids I would meet who I would have to tell. Fortunately, I was feeling far more confident. My high school has a GSA, Gender Sexuality Alliance, and I was quick to join it. It received so much push back from the school but it's still up and running. I think it's wonderful that we have a tool like that.

But, unfortunately, not everyone has something like that where they can have some place supportive. Sometimes, friends and family aren't even there for you. Truthfully, that can be hard. But, guidance counselors and online friends are a great place to start when looking for support. Guidance counselors can be there for you in person, and help you with working through things. Where online friends can bond with you and answer questions.

So, yeah, in my personal opinion, coming out is one of the scariest and hardest things to do. And I feel so grateful that I have amazing people in my life who are here to support me. I don't know what I would do without them

Were you supported when coming out?

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    • Sara BenBella profile image

      Sara BenBella 9 months ago from Cleveland

      I agree, it's the hardest thing I've had to do, and even when you know that someone will be okay with it you never really know. You think what if there not? Just saying the words to people you care about takes an enormous amount of effort, but once you do, for good or bad, there's a relief.