Rachel's Coming Out Story

"Coming out never stops"

My coming out story was actually not at all how I pictured it, which I suppose is probably really relatable. Coming out, while not necessary for everyone, really helped me figure out who I truly am and made me overall so much happier! However, it was quite the process to get to that point.

It was a pretty normal January day (actually around now it makes it my 5 years being out!) and it was during a semester break from college. My girlfriend and I had been hiding our relationship for quite some time and every day got harder and harder to pretend. I remember feeling really off this day. Really anxious, really sad, really mad at the world… and it was apparent to my mom that I clearly was not okay.

 

“Sometimes coming out isn’t how you plan it and that’s okay”

 

She pushed and pushed, as moms can do, and finally, we started arguing about my attitude, my attention to only Sarah (my secret girlfriend that I think my mom was catching onto) and my clear disorganization. I did not plan for this conversation to happen during an argument with my mom, but sometimes coming out isn’t how you plan it and that’s okay.

“SARAH’S NOT MY FRIEND!” is what I finally spewed out and then there was silence for a few minutes. 

“What do you mean?” my mom followed up with.

“She’s my girlfriend, mom.” I finally did it. I admitted to the secret I’d been keeping for a couple of years at that point. 

People like to say that you immediately feel a weight lifted from your shoulders and you’re instantly happier. While yeah, I felt definitely lighter and better for not keeping a secret and lying to the people in my life, I knew the journey I had just begun and had quite a while before it was over.

Before coming out to my mom (and therefore the rest of my immediate family), Sarah and I did come out to a few friends. Those experiences were so great and really cemented what I already knew: I have amazing friends. I think coming out to a close friend, a sibling or someone you really look up to can be a nice ease into the whole world of coming out. It can be a scary place and a really vulnerable situation to be in, but just remember that coming out never stops.

You’re going to constantly be meeting new people, introducing your partner to new friends or coworkers and as unfair as it is, this part of being in the queer community never really stops.

Unless of course, you choose to not come out. There’s so much pressure in this community and from others to live your true, authentic life and come out to every new person you encounter. This is actually not how you have to live and a ton of queers choose to select only certain people to come out to or not at all. Either way is completely valid and it should be up to you!

Coming out is really hard, but it’s given me so much confidence in who I am and who I’m yet to become. I’m proud of my relationship and sharing it online gives me hope that other queers will have so much more representation and confidence going into their futures!

Coming out stories

Rachel Benson

Edited by Aislinn O'Keeffe

LGBTQ+ Creative

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