A bit about me, I’m JR, I’m a 23 year old lesbian, author and poet. I grew up a tomboy, raised in a mixture of Black, Mexican, Danish, and Japanese culture, I enjoy downtime as much as I enjoy work. I’ve published a book on Amazon, and am currently working on my second.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t always so well-spoken. Here’s my not-so-eloquent coming out story.
At 17, I was seeing my first girlfriend and kept it to myself. We privately dated on and off until I was 19. Her family knew me well, and I never avoided going anywhere with her, but I didn’t announce it to anyone I knew. Then I got my heart broken.
I needed my best friend.
She talked to me for a minute, small talk, and I let out, in a forced whisper, “I’m gay, dude. I like girls.” Without skipping a beat, she says, “You’re saying this like I didn’t know.” Over the next four months, I shared it with two of my cousins and my aunt who were sworn into secrecy until I messily spilled it to everyone.
"Coming out, for me, wasn’t planned, and it wasn’t clean. It was a combination of bad timing and execution, with no degree of grace. But still, I made it."
I started dating another girl in the intermission, so the few relatives I lived with knew. About two months later, I came out. The first person I tried telling was my grandmother who replied, “What made you make that decision?” I hung up on her, and, in frustration, posted to Facebook, “Of all the things you could be upset about, you’re mad I’m gay?” My comments exploded. My relatives, my parents, all texted, commented, and called to confirm that I was the family’s first homo.
It was insanity. My mother still will not let me live it down.
That wasn’t my plan. I never had a plan. But the truth of that moment is that my emotions dictated my situation. I wasn’t prepared for rejection, and I had no plan as to what to do with it, and I reacted in a rage. It ruined the opportunity for me to talk to some of the people I cared about. It took my chance to make it personal. It is one of very few moments I wish I could change.
So, out of my disaster, if I could offer any advice about coming out, it would be to make it as clean as possible, and not allow rejection or emotions dictate how you handle your moment. And, if for any reason, how you identify gets out before you choose, handle it with as much grace as you can spare, and move with pride and dignity. Everything will work out.