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Does coming out actually help you feel better and help you in life?

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by hopelesskid, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. hopelesskid

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    I never thought I say this in my life, but I am thinking about coming out. I always known that I was gay since I was about 6 yrs old. As kid I was bullied for being gay or for people thinking that I was gay. I even had counselors or teachers tell me if I was gay just keep it to myself. Or if they asked if I was gay, I said of course not, and when I said that one of my counselors told me “good girl.” I guess that’s why I am so messed up and hate being vulnerable. When I got to middle school, it was the worst 3 yrs of my life. I had girls laugh in my face when I would ask them out, I had girls scream “ew omg I am not gay” in front of everyone. I literally had people avoid me like I had the plague just because I was gay or thought I was.

    High school was better because I went to a totally different high school than the people I went to middle school with. It also helped that I only told like 2 people that I was gay. Now flash-forward to the present day 25 yr old that’s a mess. I guess because of my earlier yrs I feel like I messed a lot (dating, having sex, etc.) and when I like someone I feel so behind. I hate it, it takes me like forever to admit my feelings for someone and tell them I like them, seriously it’s so hard tell them, it’s like I choke on the words and my hands start trembling and its so hard for me to speak.

    I finally moved out of my mother’s house and now I live in an apartment with 3 of my cousins. I am slightly happier, but I still can’t be the person I want to be (I don’t know who I want to be). I’m still in the closet but basically everyone in my family probably know that this point that I am gay. My uncle always asks me if I am and tells me that he will still love me if I am, my mom and my dad talk about it (I know because my dad told me), and my sister is starting to ask me more and more. Like I don’t want them to know, but I know they know, no matter how much I deny it (because they always ask me. I don’t like being open. However, I do not know if it’s true, but I think coming out will help me. I don’t think I will come out to my family members in person, I’ll probably do it on the phone or on facetime and I’ll probably tell my uncle and my mom first. Is this wrong to do it this way? Does coming out actually help you feel better and help you in life? Will coming out help me feel more comfortable about being gay?
     
    #1 hopelesskid, Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  2. Mirko

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    Hi there! It's wonderful that you have started becoming comfortable with the idea of coming out, and are thinking about taking that step. Coming out is definitely a vulnerable act and it does take courage. There are no guarantees as to how things are going to turn out. The most important piece here is that you feel comfortable in your own skin, and do the things you need to do in order to live your life. As Brene Brown has stated being vulnerable allows one to be honest with oneself, feel joy, happiness, love, and connect with others in ways that would not be possible without vulnerability.

    It is quite unfortunate that you had the experiences that you had because they have now informed a large part of your life, and how you see yourself. The good news here is that it is never too late to trying to turn a page on the past, and start working towards things that you know are going to help you to live your life, being yourself.

    Reading over your last paragraph, it seems that your family and extended family are giving you the hints, and in some respects encouraging you to be yourself. The fears you are experiencing are real, because coming out to your family means letting your guard down, sharing something very personal. It also means (perhaps) needing to overcome your own internal struggles.

    I remember, coming out to my parents and my sister, was the most difficult part of my coming out. I always found it easier to come out to friends or colleagues. From my own experience, coming out reduced stress, I didn't feel that I need to hide anymore, I didn't had to think about 'excuses' or constantly thinking about 'hopefully I didn't reveal anything.' Plus being out gave me the chance to get to know others, form (more) meaningful friendships and relationships. Most importantly, it helped me to be more confident and secure.

    There is nothing wrong with coming out over the phone, facetime, or e-mail. It is really about the method that you feel most comfortable with.

    Whatever you decide, keep in mind, coming out is not a race; there is no time limit on it. You are not in it to break some records. It is about what you feel comfortable with. For some coming out to to one family member at a time, is easier than coming out to everybody at once. Give it some thought as to what approach you would feel good about, and slowly take it from there. :slight_smile:
     
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  3. silverhalo

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    Hey I think it's great that you are contemplating coming out. I totally understand why you havent up until this point but I agree with Mirko, it sounds like your family will be supportive.
    Coming out is really scary because you open up to people about things you have tried to keep locked away inside but it does get easier.
    I think coming out helps you to be comfortable with who you are and that generally makes things easier and less stressful. The way you do it is entirely up to you, there is no right or wrong just whichever you are most comfortable with. You will know when the times is right.
     
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  4. Rade

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    I wouldn't always recommend coming out until the time feels right. BUT reading what you put I would say NOW sounds good. You have alot of love from your family and they will support you.
    You will feel free and life will improve I'm sure. Don't do a ME, waited till 42 and had a wife and kids. My life is 100 percent better since I came out and I'm an amazing father too my children still.
    Go with your heart and set yourself free.
    Big hugs .Jon xx
     
  5. musicteach

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    I think the biggest thing that “coming out” really does is that it’s a declaration that you’re authentically you. Of course it’s scary, especially when you think about what if they think I was lying before or they’re going to hate you or whatever. I don’t necessarily believe that it has to be this big fanfare of an event. It could just be as simple that when you’re asked are you gay you don’t get the impulse to claim that you’re not.
     
  6. Phoenix92

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    “Coming Out” is often times more about ourselves then it is for others.
    As when I had my coming out as who I am, people were very accepting of me. That and a good chunk of the congratulations veiled a “yeah, and?”.

    ‘Also, something my mother told me about a half month later:
    While I knew, it did take me some time to fully accept that plans were not going to be fulfilled. There was a bit of a grieving process there.
     
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  7. EleanorHunter

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    I think, no matter how you end up doing it, coming out generally helps you make peace with yourself and move on with other aspects of your life.

    I know for a lot of people (myself included), it's just so nice to not worry about hiding it anymore. Even if it's just with one friend or a couple of people, the fact that you can talk to them freely and not have to watch your words, is so freeing. Life is already stressful enough as is, and hiding who you are adds so much stress to that. So just the sheer relief of not having to censor yourself really does help.

    Since coming out is all about your comfort level, you can do it however you want. When I started coming out, I used in-person conversations. The first few were very much the "Hey, sit down, I gotta tell you something" kind of conversations. Nowadays, it's just a fact I drop through either a joke or a pronoun. I also have a couple of pride things on display (such as the huge pin on my bag that just says "queer" in huge rainbow letters). I have friends who didn't want to make a scene whatsoever, so they just quietly used other pronouns or talked about dating multiple genders. There's plenty of stories of even people coming out over text that turn out just fine. Obviously, people have preferences for how they'd like to find out (my parents have told me explicitly that they did want an actual conversation, rather than finding out when I just started dating a girl), but ultimately, it is still up to you and how you feel the most comfortable.

    By the sound of it, you've had a rough road getting to this point. You've had some hard times in getting to this point. You deserve to feel confident and proud of who you are. You deserve the freedom and comfort that comes with coming out. And all of us here at EC are always available for any support or questions you may have if you decide to do it. You've got this. :fist:
     
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  8. hopelesskid

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    Thanks. At this point I need to believe that my life will improve if I come out. I've been trying to date and I feel like maybe if I was more open things would work out. I don't know if it's in my head, but I feel like they can tell if I am not that confident. Did you ever feel like that?
     
  9. hopelesskid

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    I used to believe that coming out was stupid because it's like, why does everyone have to know? But now that I am older, I can see it's more more me than anyone else. It also sucks to know that I was ruining my own happiness. I just hate feeling uncomfortable about be gay. Did you ever feel like that? if you did how did you get over it? Also, I always tell my mom I am not having children. So hopefully she is prepared for that change.
     
  10. Rade

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    It's definitely easier to date once your open with your sexuality. It's a process. I feel like a snake that shed it's skin. I lost weight, had a personal trainer for a while, completely changed my clothes, tighter jeans, fitted t shirts and tops, tighter boxers, I realised everything I wore was at least one size too big. I grew a beard, a proper beard for the first time in my life and I love facial hair now. I found a love of caps and cut my hair short. I went running.
    You will find yourself, what you like and your confidence will come. I'm even learning to flirt a bit. But all this has taken two years.
    You will discover what type of person you are attracted too and what you enjoy sexually. Again it's taken some hook ups which I'm not proud of but that was part of the journey. I had a BF. for three months last summer. I've just met a French guy, I'm English and I hope it will lead to a committed relationship.
    Enjoy your journey, it's fun, exciting and you will find the real you......
    Any questions just ask.
    Jon xx
     
    #10 Rade, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  11. Dreamsexul

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    Awesome! :slight_smile:
    That's an encouraging story.
     
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  12. pennylane1988

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    Coming out was the scariest thing I've ever done, but I'm so glad I went throught with it. It helped me a lot with being comfortable in my own skin and now my life is way better because of it. I don't have to hide anymore and it's such a relief to just be myself around everyone.

    You should come out only when you feel ready to, but you sound like you are. And remember, it doesn't matter how you come out. The only important thing is doing it. The first few times I did it over text because I couldn't get myself to have the talk with anybody. It gets easier, I promise. And it definitely gets better.
     
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  13. hopelesskid

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    Update. I came out to 1 of the 3 cousins that I live with and she told me she knew and that she was just waiting on me to just say something. Also, she told me that her sister is Bi (something I never knew, and it's one of my cousins that doesn't live here). I just hate that my cousin asked me "why did I chose to be gay?". I came out to my mom last Saturday, and she didn't take it too well, which I don't understand. She said she everyone knew I was gay, However, she started asking "why did I chose to be gay" "now I need to go to church more than ever" and "I will get into more fights because I am gay". And it's Like, you have friends that are gay, but when it's your child, it's a problem. It doesn't make sense because if you always knew I was gay, you should've accepted by now, which annoys me. I also came out to some of my close friends in my frat (its co-ed). I like this girl in my frat and I told her that (she's Bi), but I guess we're going to stay friends because she never said if she likes me more than a friend. however, she did say she want a friends with benefits relationship with her ex. That never happened and she ended up having sex with one of our frat brother friends. She said she's not looking for a relationship just sex. I guess things are confusing because I like her and I want a relationship with her, but I guess that will never happen because she has never been with a girl, and I just make shit weird and over dramatic, and she just wants sex. Girls just overlook me because I'm 25, and I look like I am 12 and they think i'm too innocent. It seems like coming out is almost as bad as staying in the closet.
     
  14. silverhalo

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    Congratulations on coming out. I'm sorry it wasn't all positive but try not to become too disheartened, hopefully those that reacted by asking why will understand that it wasn't a choice in time. Sometimes peoples fears about the challenges you face are expressed in this way.
    I can see its a difficult situation with the girl you like it sounds like if she is only wanting sex this might not be a good thing to get involved with as it would be easy to end up getting hurt.
     
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