Coming out can be extremely difficult for certain people, but it can also be a rewarding and life changing experience. For some it improves your self confidence (that may only last a short time after all most gays can be fickle queens) and finally being able to accept your sexuality is a major stress reliever! Living in a world of what other people's idea of normal is, is like living a lie. Closets are for clothes, not for people.
-Never come out of the closet to hurt someone or in an argument. It's always best to have a cool head.
-Come out to one person at a time. Announcing to everyone at your brother's wedding, you like sucking dick, is a bad move!
-People that don't understand may at first say things they don't actually mean. Give them time. Some people will need time to think.
-Drinking can help make you feel braver but it's best to stay sober.
-Avoid having your boyfriend with you. I've heard stories of people attacking the persons partner and blaming him. "You turned my son into a butt pirate!"
-Be ready for people to drill you and it's not the good kind. There might be questions that may offend you like "So do you have AIDS now?"
-Know the person's views on homosexuality. You can usually judge by their responses to gay issues in the media.
-Always have a back up plan. Money, a place to stay for the night, or a place to go just in case things don't go well.
-If saying you are gay is too much pressure, try saying something like "I think I like boys" or "I don't think I'm straight" or "I'm a boloney pony rider." Whichever works.
-Lastly; it is your life to live, you only have one and honestly you're gonna continue living a gay lifestyle no matter what their reaction is. "Seize the moment because tomorrow you might be dead!"
Because no two coming out experiences are ever the same below are stories from friends and strangers on how they came out of the closet. I hope these stories help anyone who are struggling with their sexuality.
After high school was finally over and I started college I started to become more and more accepting of myself. I told my best friend first. She was my only friend I had in high school. She didn't seem surprised and in fact after I came out she became this super fag hag. When I got the Internet I joined a gay chatroom. The chatroom actually helped a lot. That's how I met James actually. Talking with other gay guys made things easier. I still wasn't 100% sure I was gay and I hated to be labeled.
When I was 20 I started dating guys. My mom asked me if I was gay because guys were calling our house and leaving messages on our answering machine. Plus she saw me get dropped off at our house a couple of times by guys. She asked me if I was gay and I told her I didn't know. She then said "You're gay. You are and it's ok!" and then I said, "Ok I am." I remember a feeling of relief came over me. I didn't need to hide anymore and finally admitting to myself I was gay felt freeing. My mom ended up telling my grandparents. My grandmother actually is very religious but she said it was ok and loved me just the same. I remember her telling me about the gay guys that owed the interior design store across from her beauty salon. She said, "I love those gay guys!" I slowly came out to other people later on and over the years it has gotten easier to tell people. I have met a few people that weren't accepting and I have experienced negative backlash from being gay and discrimination. I am thankful my family has accepted me and I'm glad I came out. After years of feeling like an outcast I can finally be myself and if someone doesn't like that they can go fuck themselves with a jackhammer."
Kevin: "Coming out is supposed to be a momentous occasion when it's usually all about you. When I came out to my friend Lynn it didnt go how I thought it would. First she was actually the last to know. Everyone in my high school already new I was gay and was fine with it, but I never officially came out to Lynn. After graduation I told a good friend that I recently hooked up with a black guy. (Yes my first gay hook up was a black dude and guess what I WENT BACK! Sorry only white guys need apply!) Anyway my hook up story ended up getting around to everyone and somehow reached Lynn by the time freshman year in college started. The first fall break she came home and told me she had to talk to me. Well lets just say it was awkward when she asked me and I nonchalantly said "yes." This is when the water works came. "WHY WAS I THE LAST TO KNOW!!" (I'm sorry I didnt know this was all about you? This is my big time to shine, but nope! It wasnt about me.) To this day she still brings it up and its a sore spot with her when someone says "Oh yeah Kevin, I remember us pointing out cute boys in high school!" and she just looks at me with her evil eyes! Talk about a grudge!
My parents found out I was gay when they found gay porn on the family computer! (Whoopsies!) This time I had the chance to make it about me! I caused a scene, ran out of my house like a crazy person and drove to TGI Fridays. (Which is where I used to work.) My mother followed me and we talked. I made up for the lack of excitement I got when I came out to my best friend Lynn."
Bobby: "After years of knowing I was gay I finally decided that I have had enough and knew I had to tell my parents. I have never been one for conflict. Although I had a pretty good idea that things would be okay when I told them, I was still very nervous and uncomfortable about it. I decided to tell my father first because he seemed a little more open to the idea of people being "born gay." So one night I decided I would write my parents a letter and get out all my feelings. I decided to write the letter for two reasons. One reason was so that I wouldn't have to be there when the initial news was given. The second was that I could say everything I wanted to say just the way I intended to say it without being interrupted or distracted. So one night I wrote the letter while lying in bed. The next day I took my Mom's spare key for my Father's car and while on my way to work I stopped at the parking lot of my Dad's workplace. I took the letter, taped the key to the letter, placed the letter on my Dad's car seat and then locked the door. Now I couldn't change my mind no matter how nervous I was (and it was a lot). I went to work and hours later my dad called me on my cell phone and left a message telling me he got my letter and that everything was okay. He told my Mother the next day and although she took it a little harder than my Father all in all it was a pretty smooth process. I am very thankful that I have such a wonderful family because I have heard stories about horrible experiences while coming out.
For anyone struggling with the idea of coming out I would recommend the letter approach. I don't think of it as "taking the easy way out" I think it's a very respectful way to express your feelings and not forget anything you wanted to say because you were nervous. You also get to avoid the initial shock of the news where some things may be said that no one really means."
George: "The first person I ever came out to was Yvonne. She was one of my best friends in college, and she came out to me the Summer of 2000. I came out to her that following Fall. I initially only told her, because I knew she would understand, so it was a safe haven, a cushion, if you will. She herself only came out to me at that point, but I never said anything to anyone else until I met my first boyfriend in Spring 2002.
It's never easy coming out. Some people run around waving a flag "I'm queer I'm queer!" Some people know they're gay since age 5, others don't figure it out until their teens, twenties, thirties, or even later. Others either don't realize it, or try to shun it and pretend the feeling isn't there.
When I met my first boyfriend the ball started rolling with telling more people. There was no real reason to say anything before that point. Again I had to feel everybody out. You never know what people will think, regardless of how close you might be. This goes for friends and relatives alike. As the saying goes: "those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." How true, but it's not as easy for some as it is for others. Others face criticism, hate, neglect, exile. My friends pretty much figured it out, between my mannerisms, and other things. And they were ok with it. I never officially told my parents, but they and the rest of my relatives have done the same thing, they've figured it out. I guess when you never come home with a girl, then the questions and speculations start flying.
I commend the kids these days who come out in Junior High/Middle School and High School. I also caution them. School kids are mean and relentless and immature. They turn into adults, who sometimes never grow up. Looking back through my Junior High and High School days, there were evident signs of me being gay. I brushed off the occasional accusation, and just moved on. To the young people out there: Keep your heads up, and your fellow MOs are all with you!"
David: "I had just turned 23 when I realized that I was not what I had always believed myself to be. Perhaps deep down I knew and was simply unable to deal with it until then. Up until that point I had been in a relationship with a young woman whom I did in fact love very much. There had always been a part of myself that was unable to truly be with her. I think that perhaps this was the hardest part about dealing with my sexuality that I would lose someone I had spent so much time with, someone I had loved for almost four years.
After ending my relationship I knew that I would have to tell my parents. I was not really very afraid of what they would think because I am not the only homosexual in my family. I was more afraid of what it would mean to my family as a whole for me to be a homosexual. I was still afraid of not knowing who I was.
One day during the summer of 2004 I was sitting in my fathers home office when my mother came to check on me. I had been on the computer checking on my summer course when my mother demanded to know what was going on with me. I had been so withdrawn in the last few weeks. She wanted to know why I had been avoiding people and keeping to myself. I just brushed her off telling her I was just busy and taking care of things for school. She knew that I had broken up with my girlfriend and had her own ideas as to what was wrong. She did not however let up. She just kept telling me that I had to tell her what was wrong with me because she was worried. She thought that she knew but needed me to say it. She had told me that no matter what my parents would love me. I told her that this time it was different that this would change everything. I started to cry because I was so afraid of what was going to happen to my world once I said it out loud. She told me that I would feel better once I said it and that it was ok to say it. I told her she had no idea of what I was going through. My mother is such a stubborn woman; she kept telling me that she knew exactly what was wrong but that I had to say it out loud because I needed to acknowledge it. I still refused to say anything I just wanted to be left alone. She could never really know what I was going through, what my secret was could she? Once you tell me I will prove to you that I knew it. With tears now in her eyes and a steady stream of them running down my face I couldn't hold it in any longer. "Mom I think I'm gay" I said it and she hugged me so tightly and told me that it was ok and that she knew but I just needed to say it, because I needed to know it. She told me she loved me and it didn't matter as long as I was ok.
After I had calmed down a bit she picked up the phone and called my father, I immediately protested because I wasn't emotionally ready to tell him. She told me it was ok and that she wasn't going to tell him she only wanted me to know that she knew. My Dad answered the phone and she asked him to tell me what they always had worried about when I was growing up. He replied "what would happen when he was finally able to deal with his sexuality, why?" My mother told him that we would talk about it when he got home and hung the phone up.
In the subsequent weeks I slowly came out to the other members of my family. Each time my parents were there. First I told my older brother (though I told his wife while we were out on a shopping trip before hand) and then my younger brother. As more time had passed I told other members of my family with my parents almost always by my side. Like I said earlier I am not the first homo in my family so there was little issue as I came out. Most people were not surprised; in fact they were happy that I had finally come to terms with it. My Godmother told me a story about when my mother and her had discussed me being gay when I was 3 years old. I never knew why I was the last to know but everyone seemed to be ok with it. I started coming out to my friends all of whom were completely fine with it and never seemed to miss a beat. Even their families were fine with it. I've heard from other gay friends that their coming out was rough. My partner has never told his family, as they are very religious and would not receive the news well. Others I had heard of have been kicked out of their homes and disowned by their families. I am very thankful to be in a family who loves me and accepts me for who I am regardless of who I love. They have accepted my partner into the family with open arms and shown us nothing but support and love over the years. I am now 30 and I don't think I would have survived had it not been for my mother helping me come to terms with my sexuality."
Anonymous: "I don't think a lot of guys actually plan on staying in the closet. It's just something that happens over time. I, for example was raised in a small midwestern town, in a very catholic family. Back when I was in school, I don't recall one person that I could honestly say that I know was gay. ''Homosexuals'' at that time, according to whatever we thought were effeminate ''tinkerbells'' in pink leotards. Believe me there weren't any of those in my high school. So I guess nobody was gay. It just wasn't done. When you're raised in this small close-minded community, in a strict religious family, brought up to think that normal is going out with girls, eventually getting married, having kids, raising a family, etc. Guys are conditioned to think this way. So they do all of that. Get married and live the ''straight'' life. Eventually some feelings come up to the surface. Feelings that they thought they had hidden away, or though they had repressed.
The advent of internet and the availability of porn has caused a lot of married ''straight'' men to reconnect with their ''gay'' feelings. They may accept these feelings, and may even want to act on them from time to time, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are ready to end 20 years of marriage, or put an end to a stable and long lasting family relation. Anyhow, speaking for myself, I've recently come to terms with my ''gay'' self.