Sorry that this is kinda negative. I need to vent, maybe get some advice. I turned 27 this year and I'm still not out to my family. I've been out to my friends and some people I've worked with for around 6 years, and I'm at university now and am out to everyone there. I really do feel like a failure though. A big part of it is that I only realised I was gay at 19. I read other people's coming out stories and I just feel so jealous that 'everyone' seemed to know earlier than me. I beat myself up about this a lot. I just wasn't aware that 'gay' was a thing for all of my childhood and most of my teenage years. My family don't consume a lot of media (still don't have much interest in pop culture tbh) so I just never thought about it. I just never used to feel attraction to anyone, I don't think (I know now I'm not asexual, just to be clear). I feel so immature. Obviously I'm a virgin, which makes me feel disgusting. I've been on a few dates (started online dating when I was 24, on and off) and honestly I love meeting new people and I was so surprised how many guys (actually everyone I met!!) wanted a second or third date. Thing is that I got so scared after that. By that stage people want... no, expect sex. And by my age I think it'll be very offputting to someone that I have no experience (and for me to ask them to take it slow). I struggle with thinking I'm not hideous (God, I've tried to change my looks over the years but there's only so much I have to work with). Maybe TMI but as you probably guessed I was bullied for the way I looked through high school, and my only experience being intimate with someone (last year) taught me that I tend to dissociate during anything sexy due to childhood sexual trauma. This is long already so I just want to list some reasons why I have a lot of fear around coming out to my parents: I get on really well with my Mom and Dad; I don't want to jeopardise that relationship They're the two people who know me better than anyon I owe them so much for raising me and for being patient when I was difficult in the past (mental health stuff) It's never a good time to add something upsetting to their plate I don't want them to be embarrassed or ashamed of me. I just want to make my parents happy (they're not pushy parents, and never have been, but I still feel this way) I'm very worried that other family members would blame my Mom and Dad for bringing me up wrong or something My Mom is very secretive with her feelings and doesn't open up, while my Dad is prone to heavy drinking, even more so to deal with emotions My family isn't religious at all but they've expressed the opinion in the past that gay men are paedophiles, or just 'doing it for attention'. Like general discomfort with queer people. I feel like I've wasted so much of my life that I'll never get back.