Today is National Coming Out Day in the USA. Yes, we have a National Day for a lot of stuff, but I really like these types of days since it gives us more chances to celebrate the beauty of life. In fact I follow the National Day Calendar, because I enjoy it so much. ( https://nationaldaycalendar.com/2018/10/10/october-11-2018-national-sausage-pizza-day-international-day-of-the-girl-child-general-pulaski-memorial-day-national-coming-out-day/ ) But side note aside… it’s National Coming Out Day. So In honor I wanted to share a personal story about coming out. This is not my coming out story, but it is about the person I used to be and the role I played in a coming out story. (There will be some strong language.)
I was 12 years old. I was an ugly and quite chubby preteen with barely any self confidence. I hated myself and I was tormented relentlessly by my older brothers. I had insults thrown at me daily and I regurgitated these insults back onto my fellow classmates. I called people faggots, carpet munchers, cuntwitches, transvestites, and many more things I didn’t understand but that I had learned from my older siblings. (I don’t want sympathy, I am telling you this part so you can understand how I became a bully.) Most of my insults were thrown out in an attempt to have people think I was cool and more mature. I wasn’t, I was just an ass.
The people I was mostly a jerk too were people I felt threatened by. Unfortunately one of these people was a fellow female classmate who was becoming close friends with one of my own close friends. For her privacy and for the ease we will call her Sam. Sam had an older brother who was good friends with my older brother. Her older brother was actually always nice to me when he was at our house and I always wanted his attention. It wasn’t even a crush, I just craved having someone be nice to me.
Sam and I had PE together. I found out that if I would talk about Sam, he would sometimes pay attention to me. So I started being nicer to Sam. I started a friendship with her. However I secretly didn’t like her since I was jealous of her good friendship with my other friend. A rumor somehow was started that Sam had a crush on this mutual friend (surprisingly not by me, I was a bully but not that bad). Girls in our PE class became uncomfortable, they didn’t want to change in the locker room around Sam if she was a lesbian. While people started treating her differently, I didn’t. I wish I could say that this was because I was an awesome person but the truth is, I thought this would make her brother talk to me more. I thought I could use her pain for my gain.
Sam soon confided in me, that she was actually confused with her sexuality. She didn’t know if she liked boys or girls or both. She had tried dating a boy, and was interested in trying to date a girl. Instead of keeping this information to myself, I took it straight to her older brother. I wish I could say I was trying to get her help, but I just wanted his attention. Sam and her brother were close and the fact that she hadn’t shared this information with him yet shocked him. Looking back, I think she was trying to figure it out before sharing it with him so she could better understand her feelings. I took that from her. I took her coming out to one of the most important people in her life from her.
Sam ultimately did come out as a lesbian. She is in a very happy relationship. I eventually got into a better place with myself and grew out of my bully phase. I then reached out to her and told her what I had done. I told her that she had every right to hate me for taking that from her. I told her she did not need to forgive me. Sam however was the bigger person. She told me that if I hadn’t done that, she would have never come out to her family as early as she did. Her family supported her early on in her coming out, there were some rocky moments for her at first, but ultimately through high school they were supportive. I am so glad I came clean to her and talked to her about it though. I have learned so much from her. I don’t know if I really helped her or not. I like to think that I did, but what I did to her was wrong. I violated her trust. I used her for my advantage. Most importantly I took a very personal and private decision away from her. Coming out to your family and friends is a big step. It should be one that people make when they are ready. It should be a step that they make with loving friends and family around them.
To any of my LGBTQIA readers, I wish you a happy National Coming Out Day. If you would like to share your coming out story with me I would love to read it.