Its been a long time since I have written. I feel like I can truly express myself when I'm writing instead of speaking, which is why I haven't written. Its a very public and exposing thing to write your thoughts and feeling for others to read, criticize, judge, maybe sympathize. Its almost been a year since I "came out". I can't describe what it is like. I had been living a lie for years. Always lying about where I was, who I was with, going on pretend dates. Torturous thoughts race through your mind leaving you in a dark place. Never knowing who you really are and living in a constant state of fear that you will be found out. You start distancing yourself from the people in your life who will disapprove, in my case, my family. In my mind a strained, distant relationship was better than no relationship at all. I had come to terms that I would never tell my family, not ever. If my family had a hard time accepting my being gay when I came out, it was 100x worse for me. I went through years of depression, bitterness, anger, confusion, denial, and finally acceptance before I was ready.
I'm not sure what made me come out after all the years. I had always heard that when you come out you "just know" that its time. I guess thats true. I hadn't quite decided how I was going to do it, but I knew at some point I was going to. I decided it would be after my nursing graduation in august. Thats not how it happened though. I came out in May 2011, through a text message to my mom. She was angry with me. I had told my parents a month earlier that my best friend was gay. They didn't take it well, told me not to be associated with that lifestyle and quoted Bible verses. We fought all night and for the next 3 weeks we didn't speak. Then it started. Mom texted me and it turned into a fight. I told her she didn't even know who I was. I tried to tell her. She asked if I was now a drinking party girl living in homosexuality. I knew I was ready, and angry enough to say it..."You know what mom yes, I am gay. This isn't how I pictured me telling u guys but since u won't let it die then there it is. I don't want to talk about it bc I know how u feel and I think u need to take awhile before responding to me"..."R U for real?"..."Yes. I have been for a long time and I'm tired of lying about it."...
The next few months were ugly. A lot of things were said by all sides. I called my family and came out to everyone that day. Initially its exhilarating, no more lies, free to be me. Then reality sets it. The next months are extremely hard to get through. My parents want answers and I try, but I feel the weight of disappointment and if I don't feel it enough, I'm reminded of it through their words, their eyes, their tears. I know I have hurt them deeply because they think I have turned my back on my spirituality and am living in sin. But for once I am finally honest with myself and God, and now my parents. I'm sent books and verses and offered help, but no one realizes that I don't want help, I don't need help, nothing is wrong with me.
This isn't every childs dream coming out experience, but I expected worse. I thought I would truly be disowned. Sometimes I think that would have been easier. So, a year later I can talk with my parents, but its nothing about my personal life. I still feel the need to lie to them. They will never understand me, never accept me as I am. I know I am loved, but I wonder if I will always be a disappointment. If I will always be talked about in whispers with their friends, not mentioned too loudly in public. They will never know my girlfriends, never come to my wedding, never approve.
A year later and I'm still coming to terms with all this. Was it all worth it? Yes, and I would do it again. It was hard, it is hard, but it does get easier. No one is helped by my silence, things will never change if I do not voice my feelings, if I do not live my life openly and honestly. I know I may never have my familys approval, but for the first time, I approve of myself.