My (Unofficial) Coming Out Story

I struggled with my sexuality all throughout high school and partially throughout middle school. The main part of my struggle was the inability to accept myself for who I was, who I am. Of course now I cannot fathom how I ever thought I was straight, but accepting myself and being open about my sexuality gave me a whole new perspective on the matter.

While I was in elementary school, I became overly attached to quite a few of my female friends. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, especially when girls are supposed to think boys are gross at that age. However, I was submersed in a heteronormative culture and I attended a very conservative Catholic school, so I evidently suppressed any thoughts and feelings that had anything to do with liking girls. It wasn’t until I was in sixth or seventh grade that I had my first lesbian awakening. I was watching the ever popular Desperate Housewives with my parents, and two of the female characters on the show kissed. At that moment, it was like something suddenly clicked inside of my brain. I liked girls. I liked the idea of two girls being together. It finally all made sense. But I still could not truly accept that about myself, so I again suppressed any feelings I had and attempted to be a nice heterosexual girl. While it surprisingly didn’t take that much effort, it also didn’t exactly work well for too long. I was still developing feelings for my female friends. They would tell me all about boys they liked, and I would get so jealous but just pretend I was disappointed because I wasn’t receiving any attention from boys.

During my freshman year of high school I kind of fell in love for the first time with my best friend. It was very confusing and very hard to differentiate feelings of close friendship and feelings of romance. I drove myself crazy over it. She began to date a guy who was much older than us, and I was once again disappointed. I was weary about the age difference because perverts are still unfortunately alive and well, but I also selfishly wanted her to myself. Of course, I didn’t say any of this. I didn’t actually voice my sexual confusion to anyone until sophomore year. There was this girl a year behind me that I really began to like. Let’s call her S. She would follow me around everywhere and hold my hand as we walked to class, even if her’s was in another building. I really thought that she liked me, but she would always mention this other girl she had dated so I quickly abandoned any hope. She had perviously told me that she was bisexual and I immediately blurted out that I thought I might be bisexual too. Not knowing what to make of this, I called my gay friend, and that was when I told someone for the first time that I liked a girl. It was so difficult for me to do at first, but I felt so relieved for finally having done it.

Throughout my first semester of sophomore year, I spent many nights crying and watching a mix of lesbian flicks and depressing suicidal films, all courtesy of Netflix. It was too difficult for me to come to terms with who I was, and I honestly had no idea why. I clearly did not have a problem with other gay or bisexual people, but I was afraid of being treated differently again. I was bullied nonstop from second to eighth grade, so when I finally got to high school it was my time to start over and actually make friends and not be called names. Because of this, I just stopped talking to and hanging out with S as much, but I thought about her. I thought about her all the time.

I wasn’t really all that vocal about my sexuality until the beginning of senior year. That was an interesting time in my life. So many of my friends had come out as gay or bisexual as well, so I just jumped on the bandwagon. At first, I came out as bisexual. This felt like the safest option to me at the time because I could like girls but still maintain some heterosexual privilege. But after a couple of weeks, I decided to finally be honest with myself. And for the first time, I told my friends and family that I was gay. It was probably one of the happiest and most relieving moments of my life. I was so lucky to be around so many people who accepted and supported me. At this point, I had resumed talking to S, who had now become M, and we started dating shortly after. And that’s pretty much it. No more struggle. No more shame. Just love and acceptance and a whole lot of gay.

Author: Catherine Caruso

Writer of words. Lover of dogs.

86 thoughts on “My (Unofficial) Coming Out Story”

  1. Funny how it’s often like that; when a group of friends start coming out, we tend to find the strength. Glad the struggle is over for you! 🙂

  2. As a soon-to-be sophomore struggling with my own sexuality (in love with my best friend and it’s driving me insane), I want to thank you for this. This kinda gives me hope that it’s going to be a-okay. Thank you ❤

  3. you never cease to amaze me.. not only as a writer but throughout your introspect as well. this particular entry can be applied to any struggle. thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing this. It’s nice to hear a young woman telling the story of herself. I have a teenage daughter who went through some very dark times before finally telling me that she had a girlfriend ‘so I guess that makes me gay’. It’s funny (strange), because our family has always had many gay friends and colleagues and we were so totally accepting of them (as in treating them like everyone else, ‘people love people, that’s all there is to it’) that my daughter didn’t realise there was such a thing as ‘gay’. She knew our friends had a families with two mothers, or sometimes had a boyfriend and sometimes had a girlfriend, but she’d never joined the dots to the sexual attraction part. Her struggle made me realise that self-acceptance is the first step in any young person coming to terms with their sexuality. I know this for my own self, even as a hetero, because my teenage years were a nightmare of trying to figure out who was a good person to love. Best place to start is loving and accepting yourself… Thanks again xx

  5. This is a beautiful thing you are who you are. Don’t ever let anyone judge you. Stand tall and stand proud😉

  6. wow! very courageous of you!
    Many struggle to be real and authentic
    but there are so many cover ups not only concerning sexuality.
    I have other issues in self acceptance though I clearly am attracted to men
    they somehow are not clearly attracted to me except as a care taker/helper
    which is also very often frustrating. .
    to connect to oneself seems to me a formidable task by itself.
    It shouldn’t matter who you feel attracted to.In any case being nonconformist is a huge cross to bear . always but so much better than to live a lie!
    Be free to be whoever you want and need to be.Much courage on your brave path.

    1. Thank you! And I agree, self acceptance is certainly not limited to sexuality. The list is endless.

      1. hey
        I was inspired to come out myself.
        but in a different way. I don’t mean to offend in any way or diminish from your struggle to be you.bravo!

  7. This is a wonderful post, it is just a shame that it is so hard to be who we are for fear that others won’t accept us. Thank you for sharing such a personal time in your life. 🙂

  8. This is beautiful story 🙂
    You have made a slight error in your 2nd line, where you’ve written except myself instead of accept myself. Just wanted to let you know, hope you don’t mind 🙂

  9. It has long been my opinion that the Catholic Church is one of the hardest closets to break out of . . . i speak as one born to the Catholic cradle with so much heartbreak through the years. Stay strong to yourself!

  10. Great post! I can relate so much to it. When I was younger I used to think that there was something wrong with me because I did not like guys. Then I had a crush on a girl and it terrified me. I live in a country where being gay is still a huge taboo and so I just suppressed it and dated other guys. Slowly I got tired of hiding it and I came out as Bisexual to about 2 people. Then over this past year I’ve slowly started telling people that I’m gay and I’ve started accepting it myself. I changed schools and that gave me a chance to start over and so it was slightly easier. It feels really good to not have to hide yourself from people who matter to you. And Honestly, writing about it on my blog actually helped me a lot in coming to terms with it.
    Anyways, I wanted to say thank you for being so honest in writing this post. I really liked reading it. 🙂
    Take care x

  11. It’s quite a tale. It’s lovely seeing you here. And yes, reject reality is a wonderful title. Loved it 🙂
    Do check out my writings too, will appreciate your reviews!!

  12. I’ve read your blogs with great interest. I myself am from a generation that has had a difficult time accepting this idea of gay, by-sexual, or lesbian orientation. My children have enlightened be a great deal through the years. Although they themselves are straight, they have many friends who are not. When I found out about their friends, what surprised me was that it didn’t change my feelings about them. They were still the same person I had always known. They still ate the same, studied the same, danced the same, well you get the picture. They were no different than they had always been in my eyes. They didn’t try to convert my kids. They didn’t push their beliefs on me or my family trying to get us to change any thing we believed in. I still love the kids the same. I have a new outlook on how people live their lives and can, through your writing understand some of the things you go through just to be able to be yourself. It is good to see your view and feelings and I am glad I read your posts. I started not to thinking I really wasn’t interested and I’m so glad I changed my mind. Some things are still hard for me to understand. It’s not the way I was raised. But I did try to teach my children fairness, love, and understanding of others in all situations as I didn’t want them to grow up with some of the unfairness I knew. Like racism. God made us all equal in his eyes, so why can’t we see each other that way. Someday, we will. In the meantime, keep being yourself. Keep writing, You are a wonderful writer and you have important things to say. I thank you again for sharing. Some of us are still learning. By the way I am sixty seven years old so you can have an idea of the generation I am from. Everyone was straight, everyone attended church, no one married out of church let alone out of race. Dad’s worked and mom’s stayed at home with the kids. Not so much in my town but when I went to Texas at age fifteen, I was told when I went to town, that if I should meet a black person walking towards me on the same side of the street, I was to cross the street. I cannot describe the offensiveness this made me feel, but these were adults in my life telling me these things and one had to listen to your elders. I still believe in that, listen to your elders, but thank God, the elders (that includes me) are beginning to understand and come around. Be yourself and respect who you are. You are worth every bit of it. I hope this helps you understand too how much of a challenge this has been for people of my age and why change takes so long. No excuses, just saying it like it was.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad I can shed light on this issue for you. And I understand the generational differences.

  13. “Just love and acceptance and a whole lot of gay.” I see what you did there with the word play. You win!

    Your story is very inspiring! I hope it serves as a beacon of inspiration to others that may be struggling with their feelings on their sexuality. I am sorry you were bullied. In our culture, we fear and reject what we don’t understand.

    I wish you all the best and continued success in love and life.

  14. The one thing I found while my late wife was dealing with cancer and watching others deal with cancer; do not let society dictate what what you are or will be if you seek happiness in your life…a quote;
    “My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze.
    My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny”. Elaine Maxwell
    I too, even at my age, are having to search what I am as I have known for years that I was “different”
    You go,girl!!!.. and may you know only love and happiness!

  15. Sometimes it may not seem so, but you coming out now was the best possible time for you. I believe it’s only going to get better with time. I think it’s got more to do with the individual’s attitude. The more you accept yourself, the more you are going to be accepted by the mainstream. Once you feel normal the pressure is off you and transferred to the haters. Nuff said… enjoy your new found freedom.

    1. Thank you! And you’re absolutely right, although it has been a few years since I came out. But feeling comfortable is really important.

  16. I admire courage. It’s universal!! Your struggles are yours and you’ve obviously overcome them and become a positive force in this negative world, thanks and congrats!!!

  17. Love it. Love is simply love. And one shouldnt live in fear for being condemned for it ever. I once told my mom I thought I was bisexual at like 19-21 somewhere in there. Her response? Omg I have been through so much. I have a headache and i cant take this. I was like “thats it? Oh geez well good” but it was never discussed again! Hahaha. It ruined my friendship and i just never felt that way again really. But i dont think one should ever be judged for honesty, being open, candid, or loving someone. Loves too rare. GRAB IT AND GO with it.

  18. I am moved to hear you speak about your journey with such simple honesty… perhaps it will help many people to recognize and love themselves for who they are. I am wishing you all the best!

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