LGBTQ+ People Are Sharing Their Coming Out Stories, And Some Of These Are Truly Heartwarming

    "My brother came out to me and didn't realize that I'd come out to my parents a few months earlier. He thought I was just telling him that I was gay to show my support for him."

    In case you didn't know, Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day!

    calendar of the day noted

    And in celebration of this day, I found this decade-old but still excellent Reddit thread where (a since deleted) user asked: "Gay Redditors, I want to hear your coming out stories, no matter how un-fabulous."

    The OP even started it off by sharing their coming out story which involved music saying: "I was on a road trip with my parents and was in charge of music selection. I played 'My Whole Family Thinks I'm Gay,' followed by 'Boys Boys Boys,' followed by 'It's Raining Men,' followed by 'I'm Coming Out.'"

    raining men

    The thread got hundreds of LGBTQ+ redditors to share their coming out stories. Below are some of those stories:

    1. "When I told my dad, I didn't know that my little sister had come out to them the week before. So, I think he was more dazed than anything else. Also, I had just broken up with my boyfriend, so I came out by saying I might like to date girls next. My mom thought I was joking, and said, 'Oh yeah, I always say that life would be so much easier if I could date women.' My dad cuts in and goes, 'She's serious.'"


    2. "My friend was really afraid to come out to her conservative father. She thought that he'd flip because they're kind of the redneck type. Finally, she got up the courage to just do it. Expecting the worst, she told him. His reaction? 'I accept it. But, please don't bring home a girl like Snooki.'"


    closeup of snooki wearing a backward trucker hat and sunglasses

    3. "My brother came out to me and didn't realize that I'd come out to my parents a few months earlier. He thought I was just telling him that I was gay to show my support for him. He said thanks but didn't sound very convinced at my insistence that yes, I was. When mum and dad found out they just simply said, 'Oh, you too? OK.' And he was a little bewildered."


    4. "I came out at a sports bar (of all places) and my mom asked me, 'Why don't you like to shop with me more?'"


    5. "My father caught me with another guy when I was about 16. About three weeks later, he took me to a sex worker to 'straighten me out.' She was very nice, I told her I was gay, and we got drunk while playing gin rummy. We didn't have sex."


    playing cards fanned out

    6. "I'm a 24-year-old lesbian and came out to my dad just three weeks ago. (Mom and brother knew all along and were supportive immediately — my parents have been divorced 20 years). He's a traditional man, grew up with three brothers on a farm in a small town in middle Tennessee. I just asked him to sit down and talk with me for a second."

    "At first he didn't believe me because according to him I 'don't look gay.' After convincing him that I'm serious, big macho fad started crying. I expected anger or disgust, but he just cried. 

    I crushed his dreams of me having a family of my own  husband and kids. He said, 'I just wanted you to get married and have kids.' I said I can still do all those things. He said, 'Yeah... but not the normal way.' He's right. I guess it's not the normal way. His reaction had little to do with my sexuality, and everything to do with this vision he had for me and my future. Anyway, we talked a week later and he said he'll love and support me no matter what. I knew this already, but it was nice to hear."


    7. "I told my mom I was bi and she didn't quite get it. She kept going around telling people I was a hermaphrodite. Very accepting about the whole thing though."


    8. "Mine's a bit more complicated because I'm also transgender. I came out as a guy earlier this year to overwhelming support, which was extremely liberating and strengthened some friendships. Then I started dropping hints that I like other men and eventually people started asking questions or just figuring out that I'm gay on their own. It's very liberating because I feel like I can be myself in most situations. The occasional homophobia kind of sucks but I'm more true to myself and my friends think I'm happier."


    gay pride flag

    9. "My mum was actually very relieved. Both my sisters had children very young and I think she's a bit fed up at the prospect of more grandchildren. I was 18 and I told her I needed to talk to her about something and all I got in response was, 'Oh God, you're not pregnant are you.' I remember being so nervous and bursting out laughing at her because it was so far from the truth and she just looked so worried. Mum was completely cool about it in the end."


    10. "I'm a male and 29 years old. I came out two years ago after spending 15 years in the closet. The funny thing was every person I told knew already. I would whisper the phrase 'I'm gay' to my friends and their response was 'I've known for awhile dude.' Some people didn't stick around, more people did. My parents had caught me looking porn enough as a kid that they knew before I did. Now my parents have become much more liberal about social issues because I have come out."


    11. "I accidentally outed myself. After my freshman year of high school, my parents bought me a computer. I had kept my grades up so they thought I deserved it. At about this same time, they upgraded their internet from dial-up to broadband. So, obviously, as a young man with a burgeoning sexuality, I googled various gay images and videos — I had a whole internet at my fingertips after all. But I was naive. I thought I had security and privacy. I thought I covered my tracks. But I was stupid."

    "My mom and I watched funny videos on my computer one day. The next day, while I was at work with my dad on a summer job, she decided she wanted to share the funny videos with her friends online, so she needed to get on my computer to find them. My Google search bar was left completely intact from the previous nights escapades. My dad received a phone call, and a nervous conversation later, my mom knew I was gay. Dad and I quit work early that day and went home to talk it over. Luckily, my parents accepted it (although mom was afraid that she accidentally could have said something wrong at some point but I assured her she hadn't)."


    12. "I was 17, in my last year of school. Little sister was in first year of the same school, so she heard plenty about me. She was in the middle of being screamed at by our mother for stealing, cheating in school, and drinking, and decided that screaming back "Well at least I'm not gay like him!" would be a good way to divert attention. Sadly, she was actually right."

    "So yeah, I didn't get to come out so much as was outed. (And was then assumed gay until I left, because according to my mother, bisexuals are just whores and don't really exist.)"


    13. "I'm straight, but I have a friend who was outed in the most spectacular fashion I can imagine. He was in college, living at home. He told his parents he was going to work at Ruby Tuesday one afternoon. Something came up at home, I forget what, and they tried calling him at work. The restaurant said he wasn't working that day. So they flipped out, wondering where the hell he was."

    "His cell phone was turned off. So his sister logs into his computer and finds an email saying he's meeting some people at a club tonight. The family loads into the minivan to go find him. This club, unknown to them, caters to the LGBTQ crowd.

    They walked into the club, and there he is, on a runway, dancing in full drag. His family was stunned, to say the least. Happy ending, though: they're totally cool with it now. I think they were more pissed about the lying to them than anything."


    a drag queen taking a shot

    14. "In college, three of my friends knew I was gay, and I thought a fourth knew as well, but apparently not. After making a 'I'd beat all of you at getting a girl cuz I'd just take her shopping' or something really lame like that joke, I left the class to get water or something. The fourth overhears the other three talking about how I'm actually gay and tells them, 'Hey stop saying he's gay, that's mean.' Apparently he hadn't picked up on the fact that I was gay despite me being pretty damn open about it the entire semester. So I came out to him, but he wouldn't believe me for weeks."


    15. "I came to realize I was gay at around age 19 or so. My dad and I went up into Canada to close our cabin down for the winter. I had been wanting to tell him for quite a while. We where outside smoking on the deck, in the middle of no where and I said, 'Dad, been wanting to tell you this for awhile... I'm gay.' My father looked at me and smiled, he didn't say anything for about 10 seconds, tears formed around his eyes and he said quietly, 'I'm so glad you could tell me that, I love you no matter what.' We then proceeded to get very drunk on Alaskan Pale Ale and he told me about his one time 'gay experience' and how it wasn't his bag, LOL. Dad's been so cool."


    cabin in the woods

    16. "One day on the car ride home from high school, I told my mom, 'I think I like girls and guys.' She was totally cool with it...until she forgot. I know there are some people with homophobic parents who go into denial, but that's not the case here. My mom just legitimately forgot I had told her I was bi. I had to remind her a few years later. Still wasn't a big deal for her a second time, but I feel like I'm the only person on Earth whose parent just forgot we had that talk!"


    17. "I've always known I was gay, but didn't really accept it until I was 13, when Matthew Shepard was killed. I remember my father saying, 'Those boys went easy on him, I would of set his f****t ass on fire.' My father had never said anything like that before (the country had never dealt with anything like it before) and instead of telling him right then and there, I was a coward and agreed with him."

    "I felt terrible. This young man was tortured and killed for being just like me, and I felt awful for cheering his death out of fear of what my dad would say/do. Every time the news talked about him, his parents, the men who did it, I would begin crying. My mom became concerned and asked if I wanted to talk. I crumbled. She thought I was just upset over how he died and when I said, 'Not how, why' she stiffened and asked what I meant. I told her I was gay and she (in shock I guess) said nothing and left the room. My father asked me to talk with him a few hours later, and I was already prepared to get kicked out.

    We sat outside on the deck and he immediately begins crying. Apologizing for what he had said about gays and Matthew Shepard. He told me how he loved me so much and his biggest fear is that someone would hurt or kill me for being gay. He said nothing would ever make him not love me and that I should be open and honest, for Matthew. Just 48 hours prior, he didn't care about a death on the Wyoming prairie. Now, he was telling me to be proud of myself, to stand up and fight for myself and my community, to be happy with myself.

    My mother (old world Polish) isn't really OK with it nor is she against it. She doesn't talk about it or acknowledge it. Thirteen years later, my father is still my biggest supporter. In a way, he got the son he always wanted. We fix cars, fish, go hunting, are fanatics about Chicago sports, and talk about women and how they drive you nuts. He's active in PFLAG and the HRC, which is something I never expected.

    It really does get better."


    You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    You can check out more posts that celebrate National Coming Out Day and LGBTQ+ History Month over on our LGBTQ+ page.