It’s never easy to come out #LGBTQ, however by coming out one can accept who they are and take their place in society. Happy National #ComingOutDay, here are the coming out stories of Scotty & Kae.
Scotty: I came out to one of my oldest childhood friends that I “might be” bisexual somewhere in high school. She was so accepting and loving about it, and someone else had even come out to her because that was her energy (yes this was rare in the 90s). Some of my friends had started a Gay/Straight Alliance, but I was paralyzed to ever walk through the doors to a meeting. What I came to find out was I was experimenting with coming out saying things that I thought would be easier to say and hear. Back in the late 90s/early 2000s, there definitely wasn’t even close to as many out people, and especially in my community. As time progressed I went away to college and realized that I could finally be myself and that things seemed way more accepted in the academia environment. I remember the first time I uttered the words “I’m gay” to a college friend, the response was - “Oh me too honey, there’s tons of us here”. It was surreal and a little shocking to find an out group of friends who owned their sexually and accepted me for who I was, even with my messy coming out that was truly my own. I was borderline offended that it took so much for me to say it, and it was almost like “so what” when I said it out loud -haha. It took me a little time to embrace this comfortable side of myself and wonder how my friends got so comfortable in their n their skin. I soon started coming out to my friends and family at home, and there wasn’t even a flinch or surprise, it was business as usual. No one even batted an eye. My battle was internal, as someone who had suffered with anxiety and depression, I didn’t know how to successfully successfully go from a place of being closeted and the fear of being outed, to speaking my truth and accepting myself and figure out how this was all gonna go. Next up, and last was my parents. The most loving people who put me on a pedestal my whole life, somehow I still feared how they would react. More so how this would hurt them, because I cared more about hurting them than anything else, their only child. They started to notice changes in me in my early 20s, and stared to become concerned, as parents intuition would be. I started having health issues, and began to party (A LOT) because I found a community that accepted me, and I just wanted to live my lifeife and escape. I couldn’t escape reality. I remember being home on college break and was probably acting like an obnoxious 20 year old, and stressing my parents out. And my dad, as I refer to it as pulling me out of the closet by my ankles, lovingly asked me “Are you gay?”. He knew, and he wanted me to feel comfortable enough to say it even though the words wouldn’t come out. I said “yes”. He, my mom and I spent some time crying, they expressed their concerns with my safety and for them like me, this was a whole new world of unchartered territory. Looking back, it’s unfair to think that this can be easy on anyone, families have to go through their process. My parents were loving and accepting, they just wanted to make sure that their son would be safe in the world. These are normal fears and concerns, and completely understandable. We often forget that it’s a process for everyone when we come out, and patience is learned by all. What is our language? How do we support each other? These are all things that can go without attention because there is so much emotion involved, and change. With those words, and now that my parents knew, I was fully presented to the world. It wasn’t always easy, and I’m still learning things after almost 2 decades I remember my therapist at the time telling me it was almost like being reborn again when coming out, because you leave the person behind that you were portraying, and you have to kind of figure out who you are post coming out. Here I was thinking, is this for real, this is too much work. And there the work began! Anxiety didn’t get easier over the years, but that’s life. What I did was arm myself with tools like staying active, yoga, meditation and mindfulness to help me be the best me I can be for myself first and foremost and learn how to deal with and lesson anxiety. What was it trying to tell me? If you have not come out and are afraid, find support. There are so many resources and networks to help guide you, and sometimes the person in your life who you would lease expect could be your number 1 ally. The path is not direct, so just keep pushing through. You are worth it, you are loved and your life has value. I know I always appreciate those who have come before me for trailblazing and paving the way. Now I am watching the next generations have a little different world than when I care out almost 20 years ago. There is still work to be done, but we have to work together to keep bringing ourselves out of the shadows.
Kae: Being a middle child of 3 brothers, I often felt the pressure of getting married and having kids, not solely because I’m Brazilian and that’s how culturally many conduct them selves but because when I was 18 both my younger and older brothers, were both married with kids. I dated girls and even went to the point of being engaged to one for a bit. But it was obvious that was not my path, after a thought break-up I went to New York to visit a friend and clear my head. Being in New York I was exposed to so much that was not in my current world, coming from a metro town in Boston, my eyes were opened to so much and I even began to explore it myself. I dated a guy for the first time, he was 10 years older than me and in that relationship I learned so much about myself, we dated for nearly 4 years, but after being cheated on I decided to call it off. When I came home I tired to date girls again but I was definitely different, something was missing and I was definitely gay! Soon after i came to term that in fact I was gay, the first person I came out to was my sister-in-law Tamara. I remember we both cried and she told me she loved independently and that deep inside she always knew I was gay. The very next my Ex boyfriend threatened to out me to my family and friends if I didn’t go to him, so I came out to friends and family. In a way I feel as if I was robbed from the opportunity to come out on my own when I was ready, and in many ways it felt as is I was ripping a band-aid off, fast and painful! Mom cried for days and told me not to tell dad because he was sick, she would tell him when the time was right. A few months later Mom and Dad decided to separate/divorce that was when mom told dad. Dad called me in to talk to me, I was deathly afraid to talk to my dad, but to much of my surprise he was very calm and collect, his first question was why did I not feel comfortable to telling him? I mentioned I did not want to disappoint him and make him upset, dad said he was not disappointed that I was gay, but he was upset that I did not feel safe to tell him the truth. Dad proceed to say that he knew I was gay since I was 3 years old, we laughed and I said why didn’t you tell me then so I would have to suffer through lol, we had another laugh and all was well. Many of my best and close friend (straight guys mostly) distanced from me almost immediately after i came out and others that remained for a while distanced over time. I learned that those were not my real friends and went on to create and develop new friendships that accepted me for who I was. One of my biggest learning from all of this was that not everyone would accept me for who I was, and those people did not have a place in my life, though I was sadden to let them go, I also felt loved and supported for those who stood by my side and loved me for who I truly am. Today nearly 15 years after I first came out, I could not be more happier. A huge thank you to all of the pioneers that made it possible for me to be a happy married gay man today! Thank you for all of those who fought and held strikes during #Stonewall, for everyone who also fought to take down #DADT #DontAskDontTell and #DOMA #DefenseOfMarriageAct, and for everyone else that continue to fight for #EqualRights for all #Gay #Lesbian #Bisexual #Trans #Queer #LGBTQ.
#ComingOut #GayLove #GayHusbands #LoveWins #LoveConquersAll #Equality #LoveIsLove