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These Are The First Words These LGBT People Heard After Coming Out

"I know you're a good person. I love you. Some people just don't understand."

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Coming out is hard.

It can be scary, but it can also be genuinely unsafe, and even people who live in progressive places may find themselves bullied and targeted.

But there are so many people who know that love is love.

Coming out to your family or friends is a decision that is yours and yours alone. Hopefully, these stories of love, support, and safety will shore up your courage in your journey.

Oddly, the first person I don't really remember — I feel like I was always gay, and that was that. But coming out to my family was a rather dramatic situation. The mother of the person I was dating showed up at my parents’ (unannounced) and outed me. In spite of the drama, my family rallied behind me, specifically my mother showed much support and love. She told me, "I know you're a good person, and I love you, some people just don't understand." I am thankful.

—Adriana

I came out to my best friend over the course of probably a year of cautiously dropping gay hints. It started with pointing out girls I thought were cute and randomly musing over the concept of gayness. Then one day we were watching TV, and I said something like, "I would make out with her." To which my friend replied, "Really? That's kinda gay." So I said, "I guess I'm kinda gay...?" And she said, "Me too." Then we both laughed. So both our first coming outs were truly, wonderfully anticlimactic. I think we both recognized how lucky we were to have each other in a time that most people feel very, very alone.

—Emily

The first person I came out to was my best friend from high school. Though I was a freshman in college at the time and we hadn't seen one another in months, I called her up and we sat in her car and talked for, like, three hours. The first thing she said when I told her was that I had been "the second person to come out to her this month," and then we laughed and she proceeded to affirm that she and every other person who mattered in my life would love me just as much as they had before, if not more.

—Kyle

I came out to my dad after I was caught by police making out with a boyfriend in the backseat of his car in the local evangelical church parking lot (apparently that's the place to make out in my town). He said, "I'm so impressed that you are able to be open with me."

—Jake

I said it very casually to my best friend because she's like family and has always been the most important person in my life. I knew she would handle the information — and that she probably already suspected — perfectly. Just an "I'm gay" in the middle of a conversation, and she responded, "Okay." She knew that easy acceptance and low-key response was exactly what I needed. "Okay" felt like a warm hug.

—Sarah

When I came to realize I was queer in college, I first told my friends in my theater group. I decided to tell them because we talked about sexuality all the time anyway! Basically...everyone in my troupe happened to be queer too! I went to a very liberal school, so it wasn't a big deal.

—Ashley

I was in high school. She knew I was struggling with coming out, and that my dad was sort of struggling with the fact that I was struggling (now he's a total PFLAG warrior and gives me classic dating advice), so she picked me up in the middle of a New Year's Eve party I was throwing at a friend's place and suggested we go get milkshakes and talk. It was one of the most memorable conversations I've ever had with her. So supportive.

—Jordan

Stories like these are not rare. We hope they can make a difference. Let’s listen more, love more, and show more of this.

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