Coming to terms with my sexuality was something that I struggled with for a long time and I went through a few phases to deal with being gay.
The first step was coming to terms with and accepting myself–this was the longest and most important part for me. Next, I went through my coming out phase (after I felt comfortable), and lastly, phase three was feeling grateful for the character I developed from going through these trials.
We all deal with our "being gay" realization differently, but hopefully some of what I share will be comforting or reassuring for you wherever you are in your journey. 🌈
Phase 1: Accepting Myself
Accepting myself was the most critical phase and took the longest time for me. I was raised in a fairly religious environment and I had a lot of shame in having "gay thoughts". My parents also worked incredibly hard to give me a better life than they had, so I was terrified of letting them down.
It took a lot of brutally honest conversations with myself to admit that I was gay and to unravel the societally-imposed stigma that was attached to being gay and, which I had internalized and blindly accepted.
It was only after I resolved these internal issues that I felt prepared to defend my sexuality and, consequently, accrued the confidence to come out.
Phase 2: Coming Out
Coming out was kind of like a test to see how well I had accepted myself. My first time coming out to my mom proved to me that I wasn't ready because I crumbled under her disappointment and skepticism and immediately retracted my statements.
Even though I knew I was gay, but I still wasn't brave enough to champion the lifestyle that would make me happy. It took a few more years before I finally gathered the strength to have that emotional conversation with my parents and my other loved ones.
Phase 3: Feeling Grateful
Feeling grateful and having pride for who I am was the third step for me, and it acts as the propellant that keeps me resilient as accepting myself and coming out has been an ongoing cycle.
Every new job, new move, new friend, etc., meant I had to reveal myself all over again.
It does get easier, but even after all these years, I still get a little nervous when casually dropping in "my girlfriend..." into conversations because I'm not always sure how that information may change how someone sees me.
While being gay has certainly added some complex and painful layers to my life, I'm thankful that these experiences have made me a more empathetic, introspective, and self-assured person.
It's having experienced this that makes the happy moments that I now have all the more blissful and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Lastly, did I ever just really wanted to be straight?
Yes, definitely–and for the majority of my childhood and teenage years. I tend to be a simple person who wants to avoid drama and conflict wherever possible, so when I realized that I might be gay, it undoubtedly brought on a lot of fears and anxiety.
For me growing up, if there was an easier way to live life, that was the path I'd prefer to take. This meant that for a while, I desperately hoped that I was straight even though I noticed I had crushes on girls. I eagerly jumped to the assumption that these were "friendship crushes" and that my lack of interest in boys was just because I was a late bloomer and one day I'd wake up and be "normal".
Of course, that day never came.
Ultimately, I now know that I'm living the happiest life I can with Poppy as opposed to forcing myself to conform by being with a man (which would also be a huge disservice to that poor guy because I'd probably ghost him as I did to all of my boyfriends before I came out ). 😅
Other Posts You Might Like:
- How I Knew I was Lesbian (Poppy's Story)
- Coming Out FAQs
- Coming Out Comics: