October 11th is National Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate everyone within the LGBTQ community who at some point or another has or may have to come out to those in their life. Today I wanna take the time to talk to anyone struggling to come out, questioning their sexuality or feeling alone to tell you that you aren’t and offer you some support.
No one can tell you when is the right time to come out, that is a decision you have to make on your own when you are ready. For some it’s an easy thing to know and some do it early on, such as Spencer Niemetz, our Social Media Manager.
I was 13 and a scene kid on MySpace (#TBT). I came out via a MySpace bulletin directing people to an important life update in my bio (#GAY). At the time I wasn’t sexually active so I was still confused about where I fell on the sexuality spectrum so I went back in the closet at 15. That lasted for about a year, until I started hooking up with the CUTE high school seniors. It still took a few years for me to get comfortable for me to identify on the bisexual/pansexual plane, but now I’m here, I’m queer and I want a light beer—get used to me.
I know that the response for everyone coming out isn’t always so open and easy. There are a plenty of LGBTQ youth who face rejection and hatred when they come out. The number of homeless LGBTQ youth in the US is exponential. If you are someone who has come out and were not received with love and openness, first now that I love you and support you, and that there are resources and communities of people in the world for you. You can go to your nearest LGBTQ center and that is a place you can start to find your family, your community, your home.
To offer some support and encouragement a few people here at WOW wanted to share their coming out stories.
Kurt Murphy, Production Coordinator
My coming out at first was forced. My mom went on my computer and saw I had a porn site bookmarked. I hesitantly admitted it to her and then we didn’t talk about it again for the remainder of my time in high school. After high school I told three of my best friends. We were driving around when I told them that I had something to tell them. We pulled over and it took me 15 minutes to actually say, but when I told them they all jumped for joy and screamed and fully accepted me.
Rachel Beavers, Executive Assistant
I started coming out to my friends when I was 16 and then very slowly came out to everyone in my life. Now I just kind of assume people know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The first time I came out to my mom was kind of awkward because she didn’t believe me. However, I have been coming out to her once a year ever since, and now she finally seems to get the message.
Alex Bellamey, Reception
I knew when I was about 10 or 11. I started talking with people online and I first started telling my friends at 16 when I was in high school. I started by saying I was bisexual because I thought it would be easier to hear or easier for me to say. I first lost my virginity when I got my first boyfriend at 17. Around the same time they were doing a blood drive at school and I learned I couldn’t donate due to the rule about men who have had sex with another man in the last year. 6 months later my mom was in the hospital and needed a transfusion and she asked me if I could do it and I told her I couldn’t. She automatically assumed drug use then asked if it was because I was gay. I’m still mad to this day that I was forced to tell her because of the rule on blood donation.
Daisha Jimenez, APOC
MySpace got me caught up. My mom saw my girlfriend at the time saying sweet nothings on my damn page and it all came out after that. Well first I tried to lie and say my page was hacked. She said “c’mon, who is going to hack your page just to write sweet things on it.” 🤦♀️ Then my friends found out because we did the whole she’s my new friend who I seem ridiculously affectionate with. That didn’t last fast. Especially when your male friends are trying to holla and she finally tells them ” I’m with her sooooo surprise.” My dad asked is she like your boyfriend? Yes father she is. But she is so much more. My Mexican Catholic father was so supportive. That was priceless. My family as well. My brother took some time but it’s all love now.
Javay Frye, Executive Assistant
I first knew I was LGBTQ in middle school. I was on the softball team and told a girl I thought was my friend, but she was not very accepting so I wrote it in my diary and didn’t tell anyone else. Later my mother read my diary, not sure if it was something she had been doing all along, but she read that recent entry and expressed that it was “just a phase”. So went on thinking it was just a phase and ignored my feelings for a while until high school. I only told a couple friends but for the most part ignored it. College is when I more came out. I learned more about my sexuality from different leadership positions I had on campus and I met my best friend who worked for the LGBTQ ally education who made me feel more accepted and comfortable in my skin and by the end of college I was out on campus. I re-came out to my mom this year expressing that it wasn’t a phase and it’s had it’s bumps, but she still loves me and is still one of my best friends so I would say it’s been great.
Whether you are already out, coming out today tomorrow or even further in the future, whether you were immediately accepted or not, know that you are not alone, the LGBTQ community is large and your home and we are always there for you! And if you need more encouragement or advice today on coming out check out this video.