It took me 25 years to come out to anyone in my personal life and as much as I wish I could have done so earlier, I just wasn’t ready. Recently, I experienced my first ever relationship with someone of the same sex and instead of talking about what went wrong I want to focus on what went right.
Coming out slowly allowed me to finally feel comfortable exploring my interests in women. I started meeting girls typically on tinder as that’s where I felt the most safe doing so semi-secretly. In the beginning, I was still pretty scared to be out in public with the girls that I was interested in. It definitely took a lot of alcohol for me to show any PDA. It was all new and exciting but I still had this dark cloud over me that my family or friends who I hadn’t told yet would find out. After dating for a year or so I finally met someone worth the time and effort that it takes to be in a relationship. She changed everything. I became comfortable in my own skin around her. I felt comfortable holding hands and kissing in public. I started realizing new things about what I do and don’t like about myself and about things in general. I came out to more of my friends and everything just started coming together. I even came out to my family. And you know what, it felt scary but FREAKIN AMAZING!
Like I said before, I wasn’t ready to come out when I had gay feelings as a young adult. Honestly knowing what I know now--I kind of wish I would have. And here’s why:
- Your friendships become stronger
- You feel better about things that you aren’t hiding anymore
- It helps people who are like you be more comfortable with their sexuality
- It eases anxiety
- You learn that other people’s opinions have nothing to do with you
- You live free and by your own terms
- You actually stop caring about what other people think
- You can only be as happy as you are authentic
- YOLO! If we only live once you should live as you truly think you are
- You find out who your real friends are
- You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself
- You accomplish things that once seemed scary or impossible
- No one cares as much as you do
- You become who you truly are
I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I wasn’t ready when I was younger because during those years it would have been harder. Maybe younger me wouldn’t have been able to handle younger reactions. But, maybe I would have found this confidence and myself sooner! If you’re considering coming out or exploring your sexuality—it is your right to do so. And it is your right to do so on your own timeline. Do it when you are ready. Just know that there are so many people out there just like you going through the same things or who have gone through it. And we are all here for you!