Written in Portland, Oregon by a social barrier burster
I am an out gay woman: this used to scare me. I heard of all of the risks that came with coming out as gay. I was scared that my friends and family would cut me out of their lives. I knew deep in my heart that wasn’t the case, but I couldn’t stop worrying about it. This kept me in the closet for a year after accepting my sexuality. It was hard because my friends would come to me telling me about their new crush, and I desperately wanted to tell them about mine, but fear froze me from even thinking about it.
Eventually, I had a reality check.
Even if people did stop talking to me, why would I want someone of that toxicity in my life anyway?
I came out. I lost some friends, but it has been so worth it.
A lesbian is one of the most over-sexualized things a woman can be. There’s this whole trend that men have with lesbian porn. It causes me to be more conservative when I’m out with a partner. I shouldn’t have to be insecure about this. I shouldn’t have to hide from the world for doing something that is so normalized when it comes to a heterosexual couple.
One of the most intense experiences I’ve had with homophobia was over the summer. I swim at rivers a lot. With that, I meet a lot of people. It was one particular evening, the day had been joyous until a young man approached me and my friend. He asked us, “Hey I’ve seen you two swimming all day, are you two best friends?” My friend replied with a head nod and a giggle. He then asked, more aggressively, “Why’d you giggle, are you two dating or something?” She said no and exclaimed that she had a boyfriend. He asked if I was in a relationship and I explained that I wasn’t, but I was gay. His gestures instantly got more aggressive, saying phrases such as, “I’m not so sure about that,” “Let me quiz you then,” and “I bet I can change that.”
We left soon after the verbal attack I received, and my friend and I just giggled it off. But just below the surface I knew that if that man had wanted to physically harm me, he was big enough that he could’ve done whatever he felt I deserved.
My friend jokes about it now, but it was honestly one of the scariest situations I’ve been in.
This is the reason people are scared to come out because attacks like these are so common. But to all the people that are afraid to come out, I encourage you to. Though it may seem scary, the positives blow the negatives out of the water.
It is so rewarding being able to live your life as yourself.
I didn’t realize how much coming out would change my life. I was once a person filled with anger, and would judge everyone I had the opportunity to. Now, I’m grateful for my existence and I have eyes full of light and love.
Coming out is scary. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life; however, it is also one of the most necessary.
Burst through the barrier and become the truest version of yourself—you won’t regret it. This doesn’t apply solely to sexuality; if you are hiding a part of yourself/your personality, gather all of your courage and share it with the world.