1. "For my AP English IV class, I was assigned to write about a 'weight that I carry daily.' This was my paper, and a comment from my teacher."
"Dear Mrs [Name redacted],
I wish to write to you about the biggest thing I carry. I've been carrying this since middle school and it's a been a huge weight on me since I discovered it. The knowledge of my sexuality has been with me for about six years now, and it was a burden for a great deal of time.
It wasn't until recently that I started to slowly lift this off of my shoulders. I've carried this for so long because of fear. I'm afraid of certain people finding this weight. I'm afraid of them finding the weight and thinking differently of me. Thinking negatively of me. Hating me. That's why I carry it. I just don't want to be hated. Or even worse, kicked out of people's lives.
I want things to stay the same, but I want to get rid of this weight. It's weighing me down and keeping me from greater things, but again that fear comes into play and makes me think differently. The fear forces me to burden myself by carrying it even longer.
Thankfully I've been able to set down minute portions of it, by sharing the knowledge that I'm not "normal" per society. I've received mixed emotions. Some couldn't care less about the knowledge. Some liked me even more for it. And ultimately, some detest me for it.
But I care not for those who detest the knowledge. They can go off into their sad little world full of bigoted hate. I couldn't care less for them. I've been able to shave off a great deal of what I carry, but sadly, a bit remains. The bit that is reserved for my family.
They will be the hardest ones to share the knowledge with, for I don't know how they will accept it. I have no idea if they will think nothing of it, or if they will reject the love I offer them and disown me as their son, or brother, or nephew.
That, like much of this cold, dark world, can finally remove this weight from me, liberate my world, is the first great victory in my life. That is the day I just can't wait to see.
The teacher's response:
"I am honored to be a witness to this weight being lifted off. You are an amazing, dynamic, compassionate, 'with it' young man who will give the world a gift just by you being you offering your love and spirit.
If people choose not to be comfortable with your honesty – their loss my friend – their loss."
2. "When I came out last week, I never expected this much support. I knew my mom would be fine with it, but I never expected this letter."
"Zack, I was surprised by your Facebook post where you came out.
I want you to know that I love you unconditionally. I love you with my actions, not just my words.
I'm so proud of you. You are the bravest person I know. I'll fight for you always. Your sexual orientation does not define you. You are still the boy who forever won my heart.
The only thing that concerns me is the number of empty soda cups and tea bottles in your room. Throw them away before ants come inside.
I love you always – Mom"
3. "I was nervous about coming out to certain family members and announcing my upcoming wedding... but I wound up getting a very nice response from this cousin."
4. "I came out to my mother and father-in-law today. They are very conservative and extremely religious."
I'm bisexual, and I am marrying/getting a civil union with their son. I'm female, so to everyone else we just look like a regular ole' straight couple. I had girlfriends all throughout University and high school though, so I consider myself firmly bisexual and possibly pansexual.
My partner and I are getting a civil union, rather than a marriage, because here in New Zealand same-sex couples cannot marry but can get a civil union. If same-sex couples can't marry, I won't marry either.
I decided to tell my in-laws about us getting a civil union, and explained my reasons for doing so. I was terrified about telling them that I am bisexual, and that I believe in marriage equality. They are extremely religious, and very conservative generally. I was freaking out about how they would react.
Luckily, this was my mother-in-law's response:
We have come to love you for who you are - and for the important part you are in our family. This is very unfamiliar territory for me. But with some life behind me - I have learnt and am learning to not dictate my own values / views on others. That is not love. We are very happy for you both. We love and accept you as part of the family for all you are. We're EXCITED !!!!!! and very HAPPY about the upcoming wedding !!!!
Score!! Hope this gives some of you confidence that coming out to highly religious/conservative parents/friends might not have the response you expect!!
5. "I came out as trans to my grandmother today..."
"And she asked if it would still be okay to call me 'sweetheart.' Couldn't have asked for a better response."
6. "Just reconnected with a former high school classmate who came out as trans."
High School Friend:
"I started testosterone October 5. When I told my mama she said, "I'm gonna fucking kill you," but we talked and she got over it. Her main concern was my daughter... which was mine also."
"How's your daughter taking it? She's beautiful, by the way."
High School Friend:
"Thanks... She is only 6 so she doesn't completely understand, but she
was like, 'Great, you will be my mama and daddy all together.'"
That. Is. So fucking sweet!.
7. "I came out to my parents as trans via e-mail. Here's my dad's response."
My Dad's Response:
As I have said from day one, I love you with all of my heart and there has never been a day where I haven't been proud of you. There have been so many times throughout my life that I've kicked myself and second guessed myself for having been too tough on you and made you too competitive and for that I truly ask your forgiveness.
Needless to say, I will sit down with mom tonight and I expect that she will feel the same as me when I say, we live to see you be happy, truly happy. Certainly we can talk whenever you wish to talk and I can tell you, from my end, I will be very supportive and I hope mom will as well.
I do ask that you become much closer with us moving forward. It has always been tough on mom to not have you stay in touch in a fairly regular basis so I hope this revelation will bring us all closer.
I do ask that you become happier and lose the edge you have always carried. Sometimes, I just didn't understand the anger and hopefully this would explain it and relieve it forever.
Lastly, I am so happy [my partner] is there with you through this. She is a good person and she has been good for you [birth name]. In many instances I thought how she may have saved you from destruction.
Thank you for feeling strong enough to discuss it and I hope this will take a gigantic burden off of your shoulders.
I love you dearly and I am so happy that you are at peace with yourself maybe for the first time ever.
8. "I came out to some of my coworkers yesterday; response was not great. I think my boss overheard because this was out when I came to work this morning."
9. "Came out as bisexual to my friend today."
"His response: 'Okay, legit dude. I know some guys if you need any... Are you gonna be as big of a pimp with dues as with the ladies?'"