The last year of my life has really been one uphill climb after another. It has taught me a lot, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is that my life only belongs to me, so I better do everything in my power to be happy and healthy.
This means it’s time to do the one thing that has scared me basically my entire life. Coming out to mom and dad. It sounds like something someone would write for an inspirational Instagram post, but I’ve r
ealized that the only thing scarier than coming out is not having the freedom to be myself.
And, I actually mean it this time. I will come out to them. I won’t stop myself out of fear like all of the other times before.
I’ve known that I am bisexual before I even had the dialogue to explain and understand it. I knew that when a certain girl in my fourth-grade class would talk to me, I got butterflies, even if she was making fun of me for my new purple glasses or for wearing my bejeweled “save the planet” t-shirt from Justice. I liked both Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato equally, but you know my heart was sold to Demi because I named not one, but two, Webkinz after her. I was aware of these feelings, but somehow I just knew not to talk about it.
In middle school, a boy called me a lesbian (as an insult). I didn’t know what the word meant but I knew to deny it. Later that day, I asked my sister what it meant. She didn’t know so she went to my mom and asked her, then reported back to me. She clarified what it was and that I definitely “couldn’t” be one. So, even though I thought, “Hm, marrying a girl sounds pretty great,” I made sure to go around and tell everyone I knew that I had a crush on the same boy who said I was a lesbian, just to steer clear of being discovered.
In high school, a girl I had a crush on held my hand. I still don’t know if it was out of friendship or because she actually liked me too, but the butterflies I remember feeling confirmed to me, despite not fully understanding what it is to be queer, that I had a crush on her.
If I told my parents or family members about how I felt during those times, I honestly have no idea how they would react, but, I think it was a safe bet to not talk about it with anyone at home just yet.
From what I’ve observed, my parents raised me to never think about romance, dating, or sex at all. They never talked about it. What did come up a few times was that there are some people, weird people, that aren’t attracted to the “other gender.”
I’m extremely privileged that at this point in my life, my fear about coming out isn’t that I’ll be kicked out of my house or excommunicated from my family entirely. My fear stems from being misunderstood, judged, and just having that awkward conversation. I hope and believe that after this conversation, I’ll be able to talk to my family about the LGBTQ+ community more. I hope that sharing my experience with them will help them understand me and the community I am deeply connected to.
I will be heading home soon for fall break. I am so ready to go home and see my family, but when I think about the one conversation we are going to have, I am sick to my stomach because of all the unknowns.
Today I have to tell them. I’ve been waiting for “the right moment” and it’s just not going to happen.
I told them. I am honestly in shock over how kindly they took it.
I never questioned that my parents didn’t love me unconditionally, but I have always been told by society and even by my family that bisexuality isn’t real or valid and that coming out will end in a negative response, which just isn’t the case.
They hugged me and told me it was okay. A little bit into the conversation, my dad said: “I knew you were a perfect daughter before and you are still a perfect daughter now.” While my goal isn’t to be perfect, and I am far from it, hearing that my dad doesn’t think of me any differently is the biggest relief.
I am so lucky that it went well and that my parents were so receptive. I know it is true that so many queer people won’t have the same accepting response, and that breaks my heart.