My coming out story has no particular excitement or dramatic elements, it was momentous in a way but it wasn’t really special. What followed after is what I consider significant. But first, let me tell you how it all started.
I was seven or maybe eight back then. I had this unusual interest with a girl seatmate. I was always looking for her and I’d be sad whenever she was absent. I didn’t know it then but looking back now I’d identify that as my first gay attraction.
There were many other girls whom I had a secret crush on after that year while simultaneously liking cute boys. Maybe I was just appreciative of both genders I thought. Until I developed an intense feeling for a close friend. I say intense because I would write her letters, give her gifts and would get jealous whenever she entertains some other boys in school. I explored my feelings and let them dictate my actions. You can call it puppy love but I’d like to call it “awakening”. That was the moment that I knew I’m really into girls.
From that day on I had no serious interest with any guy, and all my future “flirtations” were with girls. All of these were hidden though, concealed from everyone but those parties involved.
Until that fated day - my first girlfriend changed everything.
It’s harder to hide when you are in a romantic relationship. If you’re in love you got to show it to the world, you just can’t help but share that wonderful feeling you have for someone.
And so I did.
That afternoon after a visit from her, I mustered the courage to reveal who I really am. I went inside the living room where everyone in the family was. With palms sweaty and my voice shaking I blurted out words that as hard as I try to recall I couldn’t remember exactly what.
My siblings were the first to react, said it’s nothing new, they were barely shocked. Apparently, they noticed. My parents on the other hand was difficult to read. They did not make any fuss. My father, the comedian that he is, made a joke about it. And my mother as expected was all silent.
For a long time my sexuality was a huge weight on my shoulder and in a split second I was freed of the heavy load.
What I thought would become an easy period after became a challenging one. It was tough for my parents to see me with a woman. As much as they tried to deny what was happening, they struggled to understand and so to accept. I, for my part couldn’t also take how seemingly blunt their views are. I couldn’t understand why they can’t support my happiness.
“I only hope we’d stop breaking each other’s hearts, I badly want this to be over.”
For some months, I’d wake up everyday uttering that line.
And it is true that with time, everything gets better.
My parents, though I know haven’t completely accepted the truth about their homosexual daughter, became more tolerant. I, instead of being angry, try to educate and show them that what the church may perceive as sin isn’t that bad at all.
When it comes to friends, I am lucky that they have no issue against it. With new connections I intentionally raise a pride flag from the start so as to filter the people that don’t belong to my circle.
It’s been ages since then, I came to a realization that coming out of the closet was not just an act of love for my girlfriend then but most importantly a bold choice to love myself. To let go of my fear of rejection and not let people’s judgement hold me down. It was then that I started exploring freely, and day by day gained confidence without a trace of shame.
Our sexuality doesn’t define us nor our religion, it is by what’s in our hearts and how we treat the people around us.