Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 19 - Acceptance

Being that it is the month of June, I am going to write more about my coming out story. I came out in the month of June, four years ago.

I know this story might be getting old, the whole coming out of the closet-first she told her friends, then her parents, now she goes to gay pride and cries happy tears at the sight of same sex couples holding hands, type thing. But for me it wasn’t the same old coming out story. For me it was the collision of the planets and the waking of the dinosaurs. Seriously, I feel like a T REX jumping around the street. I felt like I came back to life without even remembering what that felt like during childhood.

For 8 years I told myself I rather die than tell the world that I am gay. But then I told the world that I was gay, and now I rather die than be straight. Maybe I not rather die but, you get the point. Not because I have anything against it, of course, but because its not who I am, and now I love who I am. I accept who I am. But to get to this point, I had to pull out a huge deep arrow.

I never imagined that I would be a happy person. Never, I thought that I was just saying the words “I’m gay” out loud so that the secret couldn’t kill me. Seriously though, that’s what it felt like. I was choking, and the only way to breathe was to let it out. I didn’t know that I was giving birth to me.

I started by telling the straight girl that I was in love with for two years how I felt. It came out like vomit, like I said; I just couldn’t hold it in.
This was awkward. She was my very best friend. That's all she thought she meant to me. I knew that she did not feel the same way. After I told her via email, I went in the shower and sat on the floor and just cried as the water hit my face.  I know, I’m a tad dramatic. I didn’t want anyone in my house to hear me cry, and I don’t know why but the shower helped keep me sane while I waited for a response.

I actually had no expectations. I wasn’t hoping for acceptance, I wasn’t hoping for her to feel the same way. When you vomit without trying to, you don’t think  “I’m going to vomit and then I am going to feel better.” It just comes out, and this is what happened. People tell me that I’m courageous for it but really, I wasn’t even in control.

What I received from her was acceptance, and understandable shock.

This ounce of acceptance led me to believe that there was the possibility of even more acceptance. Something that I did not believe a day prior, and it was only because I didn’t accept myself. With every ounce of acceptance I received, I started to accept myself ten fold. However, I had a long way to go.

So I started to tell more and more people. My best friend that I loved connected me to a gay male friend of hers. I remember crying while walking miles to a wawa in the rain, texting him under an umbrella. This is how badly I didn’t want anyone to see or hear me cry. I don’t know what it was about not wanting to cry in front of anyone. The best answer I can come up with on that one is that I didn’t want anyone to worry or feel responsible for caring about me or helping me. Which is really quite a sad thought for a person to have. Worthiness. The biggest human issue we struggle with, in my opinion.

Anyway, he really helped me a lot. He helped me to realize that once I accept myself, everything will get better from there on out. He also helped me realize that I deserve to be happy. He didn’t even really know me, but somehow I could feel that he meant it. Maybe because he knows that he deserves that, too.

The next person I told was my college roommate Kristina. It was summer time so this was through an email-also because they were words I couldn’t get out without crying. To me it felt like the first person I told, because the hardest thing about the girl I was in love with was worrying what she would think about the fact that I felt that way about her. When I told Kristina, I was worried about what she would think about me being gay. After bringing home guy after guy after parties, after boy-talks and after hiding under a poker face for so long, I didn’t want her to think I was liar, and more than that I didn’t want her to think I was any less than the person she knew.

I turned out to be so much more than the person she knew, and she reminds me of this all of the time. Thank you for that.

She held my hand through the process of telling my other roommates and my other sorority sisters, and my parents, and high school friends.

Everyday I struggled during this process. Looking back I know it is because the arrow hurt while it was stuck, but when I took it out, it was an even more painful process. But it was definitely quicker than 8 years; it took me about three months to start smiling and feeling what it felt like to actually feel the smile in my heart.

I didn’t want to bother people everyday while I was in the process of coming out, so sometimes I held it in. One morning after not talking about the issue for a few days, but needing to, I woke up to a letter from Kristina. It was random, I hadn’t asked for further advice, but she had something to say. She explained that she had been thinking about what I am going through and wanted to make sure I knew she was there. She told me that I was so strong and that she knew that everything in my life was going to get better from there. She told me that she accepts me and loves me and that I don’t ever have to feel alone.

I remember a different kind of crying this day, not the kind on the shower floor or under the umbrella on the walk to wawa, a different one. A different cry because it was the first time that I didn’t feel alone.

After this summer, I went back to college for my last semester. My roommates Kristina, Emily, and Erin welcomed my new self with so much love and acceptance. I was a hermit crab in a shell and now I was out of the shell trying to find a new one. I was eugene only I wasn't afraid anymore. (Only my roommates will get this one). And they support my new one just as much as the old one. And they supported me in between when I was confused and trying to figure this new life out. They loved me without condition and I felt it. It helped me grow. It helped me accept and love myself. It really really really did.

Thank you so much. For your support, acceptance, love, and genuine friendship. I will appreciate you always.

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