Fear kept me from coming out, but I learned I had little to be afraid of
I’m privileged to live in a liberal US city, where being gay is (mostly) acceptable.
For many people in certain parts of the world, discovering and sharing their sexuality can be a death sentence. I know how scary it feels to harbor a secret that has historically caused trauma for many. But now that I’ve finally shared that secret, I can honestly say I feel a lot better and no longer feel like I’m “walking on eggshells” when sharing my life with others.
Thankfully, coming out as gay (or most letters in the LGBTQ spectrum) isn’t as terrifying as it used to be.
Everyone’s timing and degree of sharing for their coming out experience can and should be different, but my fear that friends and family wouldn’t accept me turned out to be something I blew way out of proportion.
When I worked up the courage to tell my closest friends (some of whom were gay), almost every one of them shared a version of “I’m so happy for you.” After getting my secret off my chest and engaging in normal activities with my friends, I wondered if this was what life was meant to be like. I felt elation I hadn’t felt in a long time.
After telling my mom, dad, and brother about my secret, they reaffirmed they loved me and supported me no matter what and just wanted me to be happy.
It turned out I had nothing to be afraid of when coming out, and it was only my fears and insecurities that prevented me from taking action for so long.