For our first entry in our series of coming out stories:
In a society where discrimination, prejudice and social inequality reside, coming out of the closet seems to be the hardest thing to do. Whenever you do something, it could be magnified and misjudged by the people around you – even the people closest to your heart. Have you read of other coming out stories before?
My name is Dave, 29, I am your typical workaholic and party-hard guy; trying to make a name for myself in a fast growing start-up based in San Francisco. I love trekking, travelling, movies and having great intellectual conversations. My professional life gives me confidence and sense of achievement. I am gay. I was hiding in the closet for more than 10 years and I hope that this might be one of the best coming out stories that will inspire you to come out of the closet.
Hiding in The Closet
When I was a teenager, I used to shy away from people or at least those I didn’t know very well. Probably because deep inside me, I knew something was different – my sexual preference. It was never a crime to be gay, but in my case it felt very wrong because I was hiding it. I was afraid about what people would think about me. So I spent many years trying to conceal my sexuality. I play sports like most straight guys do, go on dates with many girls and was quite successful at that, hang out with straight guys and even proclaimed my dislike for loud gays; in hindsight, this was me trying to overcompensate for what I thought was a flaw in my sexuality. I also had to be very careful with my mannerisms; everything must be perfection, to preserve my carefully orchestrated persona. It was ridiculously exhausting. I knew it was wrong but at that moment in my life I was filled with fears and I wasn’t yet ready for the world to judge me; I had a lot to lose or so I thought.
I had never found the courage to be true to myself until one night, my best friend convinced me that if I wouldn’t come out in the open, I would regret it for the rest of my life. So on the night before my graduation, I decided to tell my parents about my biggest secret. We were in my room and the three of us all painted a very serious face; I had earlier informed that I had something important to discuss with them. I imagine their thoughts ranged from me flunking out of school to getting my then girlfriend pregnant. Nobody was talking and I had no choice but to break the deafening silence with words I had memorized many days before. But I couldn’t even remember the exact words I said that night, all that’s vivid were the confused faces of my parents. I know they were saying something but I can only hear my heartbeat, it was so loud that I thought my heart was going to explode. I continued sobbing, painfully subdued for feeling pathetic. But suddenly, I felt a warmed hug from my parents, they both remained silent. But I knew then that it was an embrace of acceptance; it was as if they knew this all along and had been waiting for this moment. It was the best feeling in the world.
Read more coming out stories here!
Letting Go And Embracing The Real Me
The change I was hoping was not instant. I knew I couldn’t assume everybody would embrace my true self. People are entitled to their opinions and everyone has their principles and beliefs – and I kept on reminding myself about that. I didn’t really expect everyone to accept me for who I am right away because it took me a decade to fully accept myself.
I am also aware that coming out of the closet may lead to a lot of uncertainties and doubts. It’s difficult. However, it is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. After many years, I felt like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon and flying for the first time. It took lengthy of years before I finally felt genuine freedom. For me, freedom is doing the things you want to do with happiness and contentment. It taught me one of greatest lessons in life – to be true to oneself if you want to find real happiness. I know there are a lot of people out there who are still living in the closet because they are afraid of being judged and rejections – I know your struggles. And I hope my story inspires you to just let it go.
I am gay. I am out. And I am proud!
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