Coming out story 1
“You can deny it all you want to, God creates nobody that way, it’s a path you have chosen to choose. (…) Mhm, you go by all the scientific stuff you want to, but I am going by the word of God. (…) Since you have chosen that path, we will not support you any longer. You will need to move out and find wherever you need to live and do what you want to because I will not let people believe that I condone what you believe. (…) Let me TELL YOU SOMETHING YOU LITTLE PEACE OF SHIT!!” *starts hitting her son* “YOU SON OF A BITCH!! YOU DAMN QUEER, YOU FUCKING DICK!! (…) Why the hell have you ratted to everyone on Facebook about me??! TELL ME!! You’re a disgrace… Yeah, you are…”.
Coming out story 2
I was so incredibly nervous. My sister had found some “adult male pictures” on her computer and wanted to talk to me. I remember I was shaking and she just sat on the sofa, with a quirky smile on her face. “Is there something you want to say?”. It felt like someone had punched me in my stomach and a jolt of lightning rushed down my legs. “Me and Stig found some pictures on our computer. Care to explain?”… Eventually, I told her… We had a long talk about being proud of who we are and it all ended with a big hug. Then she told me she loved me.
These two coming-out stories you just read is very different from each other. The first one is about Daniel, a young man who comes out to his highly religious parents, and it ends fairly ugly. You can see the heartbreaking video here. The second one was me, almost 15 years ago. I still remember the feelings I had and how nervous I was. Thankfully, in my case I had a very loving and supporting family. I never faced any problems like Daniel did after coming out. I do remember though that it took me a very long time to build up the courage and confidence to say it to my friends and mother. The fact that I had been bullied for over 6 years at school severely delayed me coming out. After being bullied for so many years, it changes you. I had social anxiety, was scared of being around masculine men, couldn’t speak up for myself, and if I would have been kicked out and disowned like Daniel, who knows where I would have been today…
I’ve read many terrible stories about parents kicking their kids out from their homes and cutting off funding for school because of their sexuality. When someone says: “Be proud of who you are. Speak up! Show it!”, you can’t help but wonder, why are people often so scared to come out? If it’s “no big deal” anymore, then why does it feel like you’re about to have a heart attack as you stutter the words “I’m… I’M… I’M!!”… the sweat is dripping from your forehead and your eyes nearly pops out from your eye sockets because the blood pressure in your skull is too damn high! You try desperately to hold back the tears and shaking in your voice. Then suddenly: “I’M GAY!”. The response you get is: “it’s okay sweety, it’s no big deal. We still love you.”. You think to yourself “No big deal? No big FUCKING DEAL??!! Here I have been planning on how to say this for months, no, YEARS, and you say it’s no ‘big deal’!”… I’m rambling. Let’s start again.
I remember when Ellen Degeneres came out (yes I’m that old) and suddenly she wasn’t on the TV anymore. I know what you’re thinking. “What’s a TV Kim?”… You know, those monitors that we used in the old days before we had computers? Anyway, they started sending reruns of her show and I didn’t see any new projects from her in many years. I remember thinking when someone as successful as her disappears from the face of the Earth, what chance do I have to find happiness? Eventually, not only did she come out, but she came back, better and stronger, and recently she was awarded the Medal of Freedom from president Obama. Because we had pioneers like her, I now have the luxury of coming out and “it’s no big deal” anymore. We also have to remember that she was over 30 when she came out and she knew what was at stake. Ellen wanted to fight for what was right, as she expresses in her “The Beginning” stand-up show. But when you’re a kid and live home with your parents, what do you do then? Do you stay “proud and open”, but at the same time risk getting kicked out of both out of your home and school? In my honest opinion, if you think there is a chance you might end up on the streets or not being able to finish college, maybe you should consider waiting. If I had Daniel’s parents, I definitely would have waited until I had found a place to crash. But then again, can you live with the secret for that long? Is it worth it? What’s the cost of not being yourself? Some may be able to do it, others might commit suicide.
Outing someone is when a person decides to share your secret about your sexuality without your consent. Let’s compare few outing-examples. Say your parents are Muslims and they believe that gays should be hanged or stoned to death. What happens if you’re then outed? Will your parents protect you or send you away to a far away place to be “cleansed”? Or worse… You never know, can you? In western countries, however, incidents like this are just unfathomable. But we can’t forget that there are countries out there that have death penalties for homosexuals. Here’s another example. I remember a colleague of mine, whom shall remain nameless, came out to me at work. He was in his forties and no one at work knew about him, except for me. Because I was so open, he felt he could share his feelings with me. We understood each other and I never told a soul about his situation. Because he came from an older generation than me, I think he was scared to get fired. Lastly, when I was outed to my friends, everything turned out great. No drama, no preaching, just hugs and kisses. The point is, you never know someone’s story so it’s not anyone’s business to out someone else. It could turn out great or it can go horribly wrong. It’s very important to let the person decide on his or her terms, when (or if) they are ready.
Original video of Daniel coming out: