In honour of National Coming out day I thought I would write about how I came out to myself.
How did I know I was gay?
Well looking back;
When I was in primary school, I was confused as to how people changed who they had a crush on. My best friend at the time would have a crush on Girl A and then something would change and he would have a crush on Girl B. But I didn’t know what that change was or how to distinguish what the difference in feelings where.
In my 10 or 11 year old mind, if you wanted to change who you liked; all you had to do was stay quiet for 2 weeks and then tell everyone who your new crush was. Made sense in my head, thats what everyone else was doing.
But why couldn’t I distinguish the feelings between Girl A and Girl B?
Why was I so interested in who my best friend had a crush on?
Well now I know why don’t I?
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I was gaaaaay, gay gay. I think that was the first time I really started to realise I was different. It was also around the same time that one of the boys took it upon himself to tell me I was going to be a faggot when I grew up… Helpful little guy he was, maybe if I had listened to him I could have saved myself years of questioning.
Probably not though.
I was 14 when I came to a conclusion that I could fix what was wrong with myself. I could rewire my brain to be like everyone else. All I needed to do was tell myself over and over ‘I’m not gay, I’m straight’. Those words are still burned into my brain, I can still hear the way I chanted it over and over in my head during the day and out loud as I went to sleep at night.
Next year I learnt what a fudge packer was. I learnt because Gary (not his real name) started telling the whole grade that I was one and I was disgusting. But I wasn’t, was I? I liked girls, I was just like everyone else. Except something inside me knew, no matter how hard I tried to suppress it and be normal… People could tell.
At 16 I had a real girlfriend. She was a year older and everyone said that we would lose our virginities together. Except that was stressful, I started to create my own problems. I oscillated between affection, because thats what I convinced myself I felt and trying to keep her at arms length and prolong the relationship in its early stages. One night she invited me to come to stay the night at her house, her parents where going to be a away and she was going to have a few friends over… I kind of panicked and made an excuse that my parent’s said no (I didn’t even ask them truth be told).
She ended up cheating on me by dry humping this guy that night. I was “Heart broken”… but interestingly it didn’t really take me that long to get over it. I actually went to her wedding last month and we’re much better as friends. I did end up losing my virginity a year later, but thats another story.
I’ve come a long way in my gay journey and I still have a ways to go, but I’ve stopped trying to cloak myself in heteronormativity. These are some of the moments in my life that have really stuck with me and looking back where huge signs or milestones in my journey.
What’s your coming out to yourself story?