Coming out was the most challenging process I have ever experienced and continue to experience. Firstly, it is a process. ‘Coming out’ isn’t a single point in the spectrum of one’s life. It is a journey that requires continuous effort. There’s ‘coming out’ to oneself which is the first and the most important step. Trust yourself. Above everything else – what the world may tell you, your family, your siblings, your parents – trust yourself. Again, you as a person is continually evolving and changing so don’t expect to feel the same every single moment, rather approach yourself with light and love and trust in that something deeper you feel, that knowledge in self that you do know who you are.
Once I had gotten to this point where I was tired of trying to convince myself I wasn’t gay, tired of reading endless conflicting theories and studies and texts. I decided to live. I filled myself with light and I decided to live my life. I made sure I supported this decision with preparation. I ensured I had saved enough so I could put a roof over my head and food in my belly to take care of the basics should my family no longer want me living under their roof. I surrounded myself with supportive friends and family members, this was the most important thing as I don’t think its wise to do it alone, give people a chance to care and love and support you and God knows I needed their support and love.
And then I started to live. I allowed myself to love myself. I enjoyed getting to know me. No more trying to fit heterosexual norms, no more putting myself down, beating myself up. I was tired of wasting energy on trying to change myself. I wanted to direct this energy to helping people, I knew that was what gave me the greatest joy. My life was bigger than this.
And as soon as I filled myself with light and gave myself the permission to live, others unconsciously did too. I wanted to start with my parents. I felt disrespectful being able to tell others about my attraction to women without letting them know first. There is no right or wrong to coming out to one’s folks, there just is. So I made some dot points to help myself explain to them. Whilst in person failed to achieve the desired outcome I wanted, a letter of understanding succeeded. It can be accessed in the ‘coming out lessons’ category. Once I told my parents, it felt amazing bringing my siblings than my friends on board.
I moved to a new city last year and it was incredible being openly out in the workplace and colleagues not blinking an eye. It gave me strength. New friends I made knew who I was from the start and old friends had always known me regardless, because this huge big thing was something I had built up in my head. Yes, it had real repercussions on my family life but I wouldn’t have had any family life if I didn’t have a life first.
I could never imagine being where I am today, it was a dream, having my family actually say they understand and support me. But how glad am I for having dreamt. And then acted. It all started with me. With me filling myself with light and refusing to live a lie anymore. Life is too short to make it complicated. Untangle the webs you’ve built, dismantle the cages in your head and live. It is amazing what light happens when you do.