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A Collection of Resources for Coming Out

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Alex

Age then:

15 or 16

Age now:

28

Gender Identity:

Female

Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

San Carlos, CA

Current Town:

San Carlos, CA

Came Out To:

Parents

X

Story Breakdown: Alex

Age then:

15 or 16

Age now:

28

Gender Identity:

Female

Sexual Orientation:

Lebsian

Hometown:

San Carlos, CA

Current Town:

San Carlos, CA

Ethnicity:

White

Religion:

Agnostic, raised Greek Orthodox

Occupation:

Sales & Promotions Manager at Clear Channel

Came Out To:

Friends, then parents

Coming Out Story

Perhaps the biggest realization I ever had about coming out as a gay lady was that you never truly stop coming out. You continue to meet new people and find yourself in new situations as you grow, grow up, and move throughout your life. So, of course, there are plenty of stories to tell. Personally, however, I consider my "Big Coming Out Story" to be the first one - the one where after realizing the truth about myself I verbalized it and made it known to my friends and family.


I think I probably almost always knew I was gay, but it wasn't until high school that I couldn't shove the thought down and was forced to face it. When I started high school (an all-girls Catholic one with uniforms and every cliche you could ever want) I had an inkling I was a bit different but I felt that I could keep that part of myself hidden. Oh how wrong I was! It's obvious now but decorating my locker with pictures of women's soccer players and Mandy Moore probably wasn't the best way to stay under the radar. But I also had pictures of David Beckham, so I was totally straight!


Needless to say, as early as my freshman year I had friends hinting that and outright asking if I was gay. I knew the answer was yes, but I wasn't ready to fully admit that about myself or to my peers and loved ones. And then, maybe halfway through freshman year I was sitting in my world history class and a girl I had become friends with during the school year raised her hand to answer a question and all of the sudden the air went out of the room. I'd seen this girl everyday at school for months but out of nowhere I had feelings (thanks, teenage hormones!). I don't remember what we learning about in class that day but I definitely remember thinking, "Oh, shit!"

So, I took that "Oh, shit" feeling and ran with it - to the point that for no outwardly good reason I did not speak to or hang out with the girl I had such a big crush on for our entire sophomore year. By junior year, however, I was still carrying a torch and it was burning brighter than ever before. We'd ended up in a lot of the same classes that year and it was simply too hard to avoid. All the while, my friends continued to make it clear that everyone would still love me if/when I came out. Those sentiments were beyond helpful as everything finally came to a head and I could no longer hide from myself.


By the time I came out to my close friends during junior year no one was surprised and everyone had my back. Not once did I have a conversation with a friend that ended with anything but a hug and an "I knew it!" And with all of my friends so firmly in my corner, it certainly made coming out to my parents easy. Anyone who knows them. knows that my parents are probably the least judgmental folks on the planet. And similarly, they were in no way surprised. In the end, it all turned out bit anticlimactic and was almost a non-issue. I say almost because, of course, it was a huge issue to me. Maybe no one around me cared or was surprised (and honestly, I knew it would be that way) but I cared and it certainly hurt to carry that secret. The moment it was no longer a secret a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I knew I could be myself without regret or fear.


And, for what it's worth, that girl from high school was never meant to be (mostly because she was straight) but all the same we remained friends and I'd like to think the whole situation taught us both a lot. But that's all ancient history by now and I'm so out and proud and so happily, blissfully in a relationship that I know it was all worth it.

X

SHOUT is about sharing what can be the most important story a person could tell. It is a project about uniting, inspiring, and supporting those that live their lives partially or completely in the closet, by creating a resource of experiences from the LGBT who have been there. Your experience can make a difference. Whether it's about the first time ever or a time later down the road, the experience of coming out and living openly can cover the full spectrum of human emotion -- from fear to euphoria. These stories can help and inspire many who are in the process. So please, join us. Share your story.

How did it start?

This project began as a thesis project in the Spring of 2014 by Julie Lesseg, a designer in Portland, Oregon. Julie has always been interested in collecting stories and as a designer, is visual a storyteller. As a member of the LGBT community, Julie knows the huge effect coming out can have on not only the lives of those doing it but also their friends and family. It is a process that happens again and again and can spark a wide range of questions and emotions. She believes by collecting these experiences, we have a chance to create a network of inspiration and support by and for the LGBT community. Make a difference and share your story with us.

What can it do?

Throughout the process of coming out and living openly, we should always be in the driver’s seat about how, where, when and with whom we choose to be open. Some situations can be more difficult than others and by collecting and sharing stories, we hope that experiences from the LGBT community can answer questions or calm worries that may arise for someone wanting to come out and live more openly. Whether it's coming out as LGBT or as an ally, we can also take steps towards equality by sharing our stories. This is just the beginning of a collection that will continue to grow and populate with stories from all over the country.

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STORY SUBMISSION INFO

&
TERMS

X

Thanks for inquiring on how to submit to SHOUT! We truly appreciate the time you are putting into recalling memories that can in fact be a very important moment in lives of those in the LGBTQ community. Since coming out is something that can happen many, many times, feel free to choose the moment you feel could be the most helpful, impactful, or meaningful to those that haven't or are struggling to come out. But of course don't feel like you have to choose just one! You can share as many stories as you would like and we welcome you to do so! Also, if you have any short bits of advice for our "Wise Word Generator," please do not hesitate to include them within your submission form.

Privacy Information

We at SHOUT want to create a community of support and inspiration. We in no way want to push those involved to living more openly than they wish to. That is why your name is not included with your story if you choose to participate unless you give us permission to. All stories submitted to SHOUT are done so at the request of the author and are published at their request. Submitted stories are the property of the author and will be removed from the site at their written request. Any unauthorized duplication of stories is prohibited.

Terms of Agreement

Throughout the process of coming out and living openly, we should always be in the driver’s seat about how, where, when and with whom we choose to be open. Some situations can be more difficult than others and by collecting and sharing stories, we hope that experiences from the LGBT community can answer questions or calm worries that may arise for someone wanting to come out and live more openly. Whether it's coming out as LGBT or as an ally, we can also take steps towards equality by sharing our stories. This is just the beginning of a collection that will continue to grow and populate with stories from all over the country.

WISE WORDS

SUBMISSION

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SHARE SMALL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT & GUIDANCE

For random short boosts of support and inspiration.

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Mage

Age then:

22

Age now:

26

Gender Identity:

Genderqueer

Orientation:

Queer

Hometown:

Palm Springs, CA

Current City:

Portland, OR

Came Out To:

Mother

X

Story Breakdown: Mage

Age then:

22

Age now:

26

Gender Identity:

Genderqueer

Orientation:

Queer

Hometown:

Palm Springs, CA

Current Town:

Portland, OR

Ethnicity:

White

Religion:

Neo-pagan, raised Roman Catholic

Occupation:

Pre-school teacher & freelance designer

Came Out To:

Mother

Coming Out Story

In my family, like many middle class white American Catholic families, heterosexuality was compulsory and my parents and brothers expected that ultimately I would marry a cisgendered man and be a mother and wife. I never had fantasies about weddings or motherhood, yet it seemed like my family and all the adults around me projected their heteronormative fantasies onto me. Discussions of my future always began with, "when you get married," or "when you have children." No matter how I insisted that I would never marry or have children, these projections were continuously put upon me and so I learned that anything I had to say about my gender and sexuality would not be respected anyway, so why would I bother discussing my romantic feelings, relationships, or the gnawing sense that my body and mind didn't quite match up? In spite of my silence about the details of my queer relationships, I continued to insist simply that I would never be a mother and wife, without explaining why, even as the pressure mounted during my prepubescent years.


Actually, I began to look for words to describe what was different about me when I was 11 years-old, just beginning puberty. Luckily, it was 1998 and I had access to the world wide web, which opened doors to friendships and community I never had in my hometown. I learned about bisexuality and decided, at the age of 11, that it was a good enough description for much of what I was feeling. I also entered into a non-monogamous relationship, and began to learn through a couple of my partners about trans* identities. Due to my family dynamics and the feelings of shame around sex and sexuality in my household, I couldn't share with my family what I was learning. My parents thought of the internet as a place inhabited entirely by sexual predators, so I had to keep my community and love life secret through middle school and high school.


Regardless of the secrets, I decided to come out to my mother for the first time when I was 12 years-old. I don't remember exactly how I brought the subject up, but I do remember we were driving around town on the weekend running errands. There is a tendency in my family to dance around subjects and be diplomatic rather than speaking directly, and so this is how I came out. I told my mother that I thought it was natural to be bisexual and that I believed most people were probably bisexual to some degree. To my surprise, she agreed with me! She didn't argue at all. I considered myself "out," then, but of course I still couldn't share my life with my family. They fought with me constantly about how much time I spent online and I had to keep up a lie about what I was doing online.

I learned not long after this, though, that the words I said to my mother didn't sink in. She continued with the same party-line about marrying a man, and asked me about boys in school I was (supposed to be) interested in. As I began college, she really put the pressure on me to find a boyfriend. Every time I would call her, she would probe me with questions about "boys I was dating," and telling me to practice safe sex. She seemed distress by the fact that I continued to tell her that I had no boyfriend. Finally, a year after I graduated college, I think she began to accept that clearly her ideas about my sexuality were incorrect. I went back to school for a certificate in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies, and I became interested in theories about asexuality and began to very publicly advocate and raise awareness of asexual orientations. I gave a few different lectures on the subject at school and was gaining some attention for a zine I'd put together with stories from asexuals describing their orientations. My mother couldn't help but notice and was surprisingly excited about the work I was doing as an advocate. So one day, when I was visiting, she decided to ask me about my orientation.


She said she had noticed that my sexuality was somehow "different," but she didn't understand exactly how and wanted me to explain myself to her. I think she was looking for a quick answer, but I tried to explain as clearly as possible that my sexual and romantic interests are not based on gender, and also that I don't exactly view myself as a woman! In the end, I said that I was pansexual just to give her a word to connect with, because the word "queer" would involve a much lengthier conversation that I think neither one of us was ready to have.


She didn't totally understand what I meant, but she accepted what I had to say, and ultimately coming out was easy for me. I think because one of her older brothers is gay and she has a good relationship with him, it was easier for her to accept me than it might have otherwise been for someone from a fairly conservative, Catholic upbringing. She said that all she wanted was for me to be happy and safe, and she was just worried that I would end up alone. She wanted me to reassure her that I could "still end up with a man." I did my best to placate her fears and understood that my experience coming out to my mother was much, much better than what many other queers have gone through with their own families. I didn't get kicked out of my family or community, or suffer violence. I just had a loving mother who was raised in a cultural environment that is, at best, suspicious of queers.


I feel that coming out is a process which continuously takes place in queer lives. Since humans are social creatures, we are always meeting new people and so the decision to come out or not has to take place over and over again. At this point, I generally prefer to live my life, surround myself with queers, and casually reveal parts of my identity to people as necessary.

48%

Are not out at work

30%

Say their family isn't accepting

77%

Know things will get better

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Julie

Age then:

19

Age now:

24

Gender Identity:

Female

Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

Portland, OR

Current Town:

Portland, OR

Came Out To:

Parents

X

Story Breakdown: Julie

Age then:

19

Age now:

24

Gender Identity:

Female

Sexual Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

Portland, OR

Current Town:

Portland, OR

Ethnicity:

White

Religion:

Agnostic, Raised Catholic

Occupation:

Graphic designer

Came Out To:

Parents

Coming Out Story

The act of coming out happens again and again. Sure, it gets dramatically less scary the more you do it, but it is something that will continue to take place the more people you meet. I truly only remember having a few official "I'm gay" conversations and the hardest one was with my parents. I think that's because I allowed myself to be comfortable hiding my out life in Eugene from them so much that when I began to struggling and chose to move home, I felt like I didn't know them because they in fact, didn't truly know me. I had been out for a good while to my friends and my sister before I was able to muster up the courage to come out to my parents. I remember wanting to wait for the perfect time to tell them I was gay, on top of that I actually had been seeing a girl for months, but looking back, sometimes we can't keep waiting and need to plunge ahead toward the unknown. The previous year had brought a lot of changes in my life and I remember feeling like I was hiding huge part of myself and couldn't truly articulate my struggles because they wouldn't understand. So finally, I decided that the day had come to tell them. I wasn't sure how they would react. I grew up in not exactly a very Catholic family but Catholic nonetheless. A family that sent their kids to catholic schools and went to church every weekend. I can recall coming home for Christmas before I told them I was gay, and feeling really disconnect when we went to our church for Midnight Mass. Some part of me felt unwelcome but the community even though I knew none of them even knew. I think that's why I was so unsure about how my parents would react that helped me put it off much longer.

But that time was over. I remember talking to my sister in our living room and asking her if she would drive me to our parents house so I could tell them. She was always so supportive of me and we went on to discuss a game plan. We decided that she would occupy my dad while I talked to my mom, thinking that she would probably be the easier one to tell and that way she could maybe help me tell my father. We hopped in the car and headed over. I remember feeling really nervous and unsure about how it was going to pan out. When we arrived I immediately went up stairs to talk to my mom while my sister chatted with my dad. As soon as I saw her I broke down and cried instantly. She wasn't sure why I was so upset and began to ask me questions trying to decipher my responses through my sniffling. She assumed it was something with the stress of school because we had had many conversations about my move back up here, starting new at PSU and whether or not it was a good fit. I finally muttered from the pillow I was hiding in on her bed that she wouldn't really understand why I was so upset because I felt she didn't know a big part of me. She was confused and asked what I meant. I just blurted it out: "Because I'm gay." She looked at me, smiled and said, "So? ... I would love you if you had two heads!" Instantly I felt something lift off of me.

@

WISE WORDS

GENERATOR

X

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Amelia

Age then:

22

Age now:

24

Gender Identity:

Female

Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

Seattle, WA

Current City:

Seattle, WA

Came Out To:

Parents

X

Story Breakdown: Amelia

Age then:

22

Age now:

24

Gender Identity:

Female

Sexual Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

Seattle, WA

Current Town:

Seattle, WA

Ethnicity:

Filipino and Caucasian

Religion:

None

Occupation:

Nike Athlete (Sale Associate)

Came Out To:

Parents

Coming Out Story

I've had multiple coming outs. But I feel like the coming out that was most liberating as well as emotional was the coming out to my parents. By the time I came out to my parents I had been out to my friends, my brother, some relatives and most people around me for a couple years. Despite being comfortable with my sexuality coming out to anyone had always been difficult and awkward for me. That's why coming out to my parents was actually accidental. It was National Coming out day (October 11th) and the HRC was doing a campaign where you could change your status to show your support for equal rights. It gave you a prompt and you had the option to chose how you identify and then give a reason why you were standing up for equal rights. I chose to identify as gay and then proceeded to post it as my Facebook status. At the time my dad was fairly new to Facebook. I hadn't really thought about it too much when posting the status. But just a few hours later I get a call from my parents. I immediately panicked realizing exactly the reason why they must be calling me. I actually just ignored their call. After a few minutes of an internal battle telling myself that it was time to just do it and have the talk with them I finally found the courage to call them back. My father answered the phone in his usual way. I tried to stay casual and simply said, "you called?" My dad responded with, "your mother wants to speak to you." In my mind that was the scariest moment. When she got on the phone she got straight to the point and asked "So what's up with your Facebook status saying you're gay?"

At this point I'm shaking and I'm panicking on the inside and with a shaking voice I awkwardly responded with, "ummmm because I am." Immediately my mother started crying and I tried my hardest to hold back the tears and asked her, "Are you crying because of how you found out or because I'm gay?" And her answer even to this day still breaks my heart a little bit. She said "a little of both" At that point I immediately started bawling uncontrollably. So both my mother and I are crying on the phone and my dad decides to take over my parents end and gets on the line and simply says to me, "We love you no matter what" but being my father and just about as awkward as I am with situations like this he preceded to try and make regular conversation by asking about work. I answered him between heavy sobs when he eventually decided it might be best to end the conversation. He told me he loved me and he'd talk to later and ended the call. Thankfully I already had a support system of friends as well as my brother to lean on after that emotional event. But ever since then my father has been nothing but supportive of me. My relationship with my mother never really changed but we just don't really talk about my sexuality. After coming out to my parents being openly gay for one reason or another seemed so much easier. Even though I had been out to so many people for years it finally felt as if I was truly out.

10%

Say they aren't ready to come out

19

States have marriage equality.

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Mitchell

Age then:

18

Age now:

19

Gender Identity:

Male

Orientation:

Gay

Hometown:

Toronto, CAN

Current Town:

Toronto, CAN

Came Out To:

My friend, Ron

X

Story Breakdown: Mitchell

Age then:

18

Age now:

19

Gender Identity:

Male

Sexual Orientation:

Gay

Hometown:

Toronto, CAN

Current Town:

Toronto, CAN

Ethnicity:

Asian

Religion:

Atheist

Occupation:

Student

Came Out To:

My only gay friend, Ron

Coming Out Story

I came out to him on New Year's Day, 2014. Having gone to a Catholic high school, the atmosphere wasn't exactly perfect. He introduced me to a bunch of resources and groups at my university, and since then I have met many friends in a supportive and positive environment.

COMING OUT
RESOURCES

X

COMING OUT RESOURCES

10%

Say they aren't ready to come out

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Kaira

Age then:

21

Age now:

23

Gender Identity:

Female

Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

La Grande, OR

Current Town:

Colorado Springs, CO

Came Out To:

My father

X

Story Breakdown: Kaira

Age then:

21

Age now:

23

Gender Identity:

Female

Sexual Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

La Grande, OR

Current Town:

Colorado Springs, CO

Ethnicity:

White

Religion:

Atheist

Occupation:

Army

Came Out To:

My father

Coming Out Story

Coming Out Story: Coming home on leave for Christmas my father was the last person in the family that I had to come out to. I was terrified and put it off for 2 weeks until the very last day before I was hearing back to fort Carson. I was sitting on the couch in the living room when he came in. We were watching TV and I knew if I didn't do it now I was never going to. So I muted the TV, took a deep breath, and turned to face him. "Dad, there's something I have to tell you....I'm gay." Silence. "So...I just kinda thought you should know...." I could see the surprise on his face and the wheels turning in his head. We sat in silence for the longest two minutes of my life. Then he opens his mouth "you know.....I kinda figured." I was shocked. That's all he said. So in a small voice I said "so....we don't have to talk about this?" He shook his head and replied "not if you don't want to." After a second I just smiled, unmuted the TV, and went back to watching the show. We've never discussed it since.

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Jessica

Age then:

19

Age now:

22

Gender Identity:

Female

Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

La Grande, OR

Current Town:

Portland, OR

Came Out To:

My father

X

Story Breakdown: Jessica

Age then:

19

Age now:

22

Gender Identity:

Female

Sexual Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

La Grande, OR

Current Town:

Portland, OR

Ethnicity:

White

Religion:

None

Occupation:

Starbucks Shift Supervisor

Came Out To:

My father

Coming Out Story

With tears in my eyes, I kissed Julie goodbye and boarded my flight to Mexico. It was a 7 day family trip and I wasn't sure if I would have anyway to get a hold of her while I was gone. The worst part was I wasn't out to my family yet so I couldn't even explain to them why I needed to make daily hour long phone calls back home to talk to the love of my life. It was day 3 and I still hadn't talked to Julie. How could I enjoy this once in a life time vacation when my mind and heart is across the content? After several margaritas I went back to my dad's room. He was reading in bed and looked up at me. I crawled into bed and told him I had something to tell him. I'd never been so happy to get the response "So?" Following his response, he gave me his phone to make the long distance call to hear the voice I craved from the girl I love. Over two years later, I still fall more in love with her everyday and my family does too.

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Jordan

Age then:

17

Age now:

23

Gender Identity:

Female

Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

Sun Valley, ID

Current Town:

Sun Valley, ID

Came Out To:

My mother, then best friend

X

Story Breakdown: Jordan

Age then:

17

Age now:

23

Gender Identity:

Female

Sexual Orientation:

Lesbian

Hometown:

Sun Valley, ID

Current Town:

Sun Valley, ID

Ethnicity:

White

Religion:

None, raised Catholic

Occupation:

Pastry Chef

Came Out To:

My mother, then best friend

Coming Out Story

I came out (for the first time) when I was 17. I grew up in your typical, yet unusual, Catholic family. I had been raised to understand that there was nothing wrong with gays or straights or black or whites, what have you, we were all just people, being people, and trying to get through this life as happily as we could. I remember feeling nervous, but also confident when writing my mom the email that would explain to her that, years prior, I had fallen for a woman. There was no real doubt in my mind that she would understand whole-heartedly and just tell me to move forward and follow my heart. However, I also remember the reply, a heap of "this is a phase"s and "you don't know what you felt"s. For the first time, I felt as though I wasn't good enough, because I knew exactly what I felt, and exactly how I had been feeling for years, and now suddenly this is wrong? So, like many others, I stated my peace, and hid it under the rug as if nothing had happened. Years followed, and I continued to hide my little secret, even from my best friends (which now I find to be the silliest part of it all). No matter how hard I tried, I never felt truly happy, until the day I met my first love. I knew from the very moment I saw her, that she was going to be someone important in my life, and as luck would have it, she was. From that, something sparked, I was no longer afraid of what my parents thought, or what my friends would think, all I cared about was me and this girl and making a new life for myself. I first told my friends who replied with my favorite response, "I always had a feeling!", and "why didn't you tell us earlier!" But I'll never forget how nervous I was when I picked up the phone to call my dad. My dad is one of the sweetest men on earth, but I had absolutely no idea how he was going to respond, and as luck would have it, he could not have been more supportive. I cried when I hung up the phone, I'm not sure if it was because this huge lift had been lifted off my shoulders, or because I somehow, through all the other bullshit in life, had been given such beautiful and supportive people in my life, something that I am always entirely grateful for. It only got better from there. My brother as always was supportive and thrilled for me, and my mother apologized (over and over again) for her response to my "first" coming out. In fact, now she's one of the most hard-working gay activists I know in my hometown. To show her pride she would often refer to me as "Jordan, my gay daughter" which, although I found to be a little much, was one of the most relieving things I could have heard coming from my mothers mouth. I was one of the lucky ones, and I know that there are thousands of people everyday who lose their families and friends simply because they are choosing to love who they love, and to be happy, like we all should be doing in the first place. I long for the day when we can all be who we are without fear, without judgement, and without loss.

EXPLORE STORY

Name:

Mak

Age then:

19

Age now:

24

Gender Identity:

Female

Orientation:

Queer

Hometown:

Portland, OR

Current Town:

Portland, OR

Came Out To:

My parents

X

Story Breakdown: Mak

Age then:

19

Age now:

23

Gender Identity:

Female

Sexual Orientation:

Queer

Hometown:

Portland, OR

Current Town:

Portland, OR

Religion:

Catholic

Came Out To:

My parents

Coming Out Story

My sister and I went to our parents house together to break our news. I was going to come out as gay, and my sister was going to drop the bomb that she had moved in with her boyfriend. Catholic parents. It was cold and dark outside. The middle of winter. Why did I choose the middle of winter to come out? I remember trudging all the way up the front steps, dreading the moment and kind of in disbelief that I was doing it. My mom knew something was up right away. I told her I had something to tell her, that it wasn't a big deal, but that we should all sit down. She immediately started in a panic, and her eyes got huge. She thought I had cancer but I said no... Not cancer... And trailed off. I was quiet for a long time and then looked up and said "mom. I'm gay." After that it's a blur I try not to think about. She was wailing. Like, the most otherworldly gut wrenching wails I've ever heard. In between her choking sobs she pleaded, and I felt cold. I felt cold because I couldn't tell her anything else. All I could do was apologize again and again. I didn't know how else to handle it. I really was sorry. I was sorry to be who I was. I was ashamed and guilty. The rest of the night was about as dramatic. There were a lot of questions I couldn't answer. A lot of self-blaming. My dad was quiet all night, with this hand on my moms shoulder. My mom went from hysteria to quiet lucidity to hysteria again. She apologized again and again for her reaction. I don't remember if they said they loved me or not. I feel like that's something I should remember but I'm just not sure.

My sister never shared her news, needless to say. We left the house and drove around for a while, looking for food. We ended up at burgerville. I didn't really feel much, that I remember... Just sick. Maybe strong, too. But mostly sick. That night I played super Mario brothers on my sisters wii and tried to zone out. I found out later that my mom had scratched her arms bloody. She continued that way for a while, depressed, not eating, ruminating on how her failures had made me gay. Anyway. This is a terrible story. It really is. I went down to Eugene afterwards and was turned down by a girl I really liked. Then I spent the next month alone in my college apartment playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano again and again. My siblings really pulled through for me though. Thank god for siblings. And friends. And queer support groups. And therapy. My parents are alright now- we don't talk about it really but they're alright with it. Tolerant. Accepting? I still feel ashamed sometimes when I'm with them and people call me sir. Things get better and then they get worse. And better again. Shit is always hard but it's worth it because it is incredible to know yourself... And to learn how to love yourself. It's incredible and it's the most important thing. So tell your parents. Maybe give them hints first so they're not so shocked? But fucking tell them at some point and they might not care at all or they might flip out like mine did. But in the end they're flipping out because they love you and they haven't thought enough about things to realize that it's all good so long as you're happy and loving yourself.