Shannon's Coming Out Story

"Living in your truth to the people closest to you may surprise you"

My coming out story doesn’t involve a special date, a big group of people or even a special explanation. It was very intimate, just me and my mom. It was her opinion that mattered the most, always has. I had previously moved to Atlanta, Georgia from Virginia and my parents were coming to visit.

At that time, I had been dating a girl whom I was in the Army with. It had sparked from our military annual training where for 2 weeks we were in close contact and my infatuation for her grew. I had been spending so much time with this girl and I just knew for us, love was on the horizon.

I had always thought women were pretty but the entire idea of a relationship with one had never fully played out for me. But this was different, the emotional connection & bond I felt with her was unmatched with anyone I had met before. My twin sister already knew and for her, it wasn’t such a big deal, just different.

 

“It was still important for them to truly accept all parts of me”

 

On the weekend my parents were set to visit, I wanted them all to meet. Nervous? Somewhat but up until this point my parents had always been so accepting of me. It was still important for them to truly accept all parts of me. At one point during their visit me and my mom were alone in my room, AGAIN nothing special or meticulously planned about it. I told her my friend who was a girl was coming to visit the following day. No issues there but I pushed further saying we were dating.

I just remember a look of confusion in my mother’s eyes and she replied “Dating?”, and I replied “Yes”. Another pause and then she asked “…like as in you all have sex?” I nodded yes. There was another long pause yet this time I couldn’t tell where her thoughts were. And then she suddenly reached out her arms and hugged me and said, “I will love you anyway I can have you”. Tears didn’t fall but it was one of those moments of joy. She said I will have to tell your father which I agreed to.

The next day my girl came over and we all spent time together, playing board games with my family. I called her “Baby” per usual. No weird looks or snide remarks. It was as normal as normal could get. Regarding coming out to the rest of the world, I displayed our relationship openly on social media. Of course, it was a shock to everyone else. I had dated men exclusively for over 26 years and now here I was kissing a woman. It didn’t bother me though, even the curious questions because I was receiving more positive support than anything.

Although me and the girl are no longer together, we did continue to date for quite some time until deciding to part ways. Since then, I’ve dated men as well and consider myself bisexual. I date not based on sex but on heart and character. If it’s a woman that’s great or if it’s a man that great as well.

 

“Living in your truth to the people closest to you may surprise you”

 

My coming out story is one of LOVE and acceptance. I’m sure not every LGBTQ+ story comes with those kinds of qualities, but it shows living in your truth to the people closest to you may surprise you. The idea that LOVE conquers all can become reality. For LOVE, people will think differently, they will compromise and accept all parts of you, maybe even the parts you think they consider flaws. So, you never know until you try, in your own time and in your own way!

Coming out stories

Shannon Edwards

Edited by Aislinn O'Keeffe

LGBTQ+ Activist

Shannon Edwards’ Coming Out Story

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