I came out two weeks ago today. I had kept quiet about my sexual orientation to most of those around me, for 25 years.
Why did I keep quiet? Looking back, it was because I was afraid of the negative reactions I thought I’d receive.
I would see things saying, “Being gay is wrong.” I’ve never wanted to do anything wrong, so I tried to live a lie that society says is right.
Over the years, when famous people would come out I would think, “Why are you telling us this? Is this really our business?” Their declaration was hailed as brave. I wondered why others thought it was brave, especially when you think of soldiers coming home from war, or whatever other actions people think of as brave.
A few friends have told me that I was brave for coming out, and it’s a nice compliment even if I don’t feel that way myself.
One comment I received opened my mind up to the reason why people come out. The reason is because, by telling it, maybe you can help someone who is struggling so much that they resort to self harm or by taking their own life.
I stated earlier that I was scared of the reaction my news would have on those close to me. Thankfully, I received nothing but positive messages of love and acceptance. It feels wonderful to not have to hide who I am, but I feel bad for misjudging those around me.
I hope those who are still struggling to come out will be able to share their truth with those close to them when the time is right, without fear of judgment or hate.
To my family and friends, thank you for your love and acceptance.