It's National Coming Out Day, dear readers! I had dozens of mini-coming out stories submitted to my little contest, and wanted to share my top 10 favorites with you:
I was 18 in Idaho in 1980 when I fell in love with a girl. I came out, got fired from my job, kicked out of an apartment, driven off the road, threatened with a shotgun and blacklisted in the town I lived in. I moved to Los Angeles.
Told my parents I was bisexual. They asked, "Are you sure you're not a lesbian?" Oh, good job.
Told my mom. She cried. Then I got a girlfriend, told everyone at my Catholic school I liked girls, and buzzed my head. She got over it.
Me: (on ladder in Mom’s apartment, hanging paintings)
Mom: Honey, why do you dress like a man?
Me: (gets off ladder. deep breath) Because I’m gay, Mom. Actually, I’m bisexual, but gay will do.
Mom: (shocked pause) Does your husband know?
Mom: (thoughtful) Oh. My goodness. Okay then.
37. Dyke teacher. Dream. She actually had a two flat. One and a half hours of "ummm"..."ah"...and silence. Her patience. My revelation. Coming Out group. Me to therapist "I just realized I'm a lesbian and I'm happy. Is that normal?" Validation. A femme is born.
Was on the phone with a friend, joking that telling my parents I had a girlfriend wouldn't be a big deal, but since they had always said I was the son they never had but this might be taking it too far. Mom walked in, said "your dad owes me money. I won the bet."
I won this huge ass button that said, I like boys, at a carnival when I was 11. The next day in the girls bathroom at school, I asked a friend if she wanted the button. She asked me why I didn't want it and I said " I like girls."
Coming out to my grandfather. Everybody in the family thought that this would kill him. Me: "Pop, we have a huge thing in common..." He: "...?..." "Well, we both fall in love only with women - this is still great, isn't it?" He: "...*pondering*...*penny has dropped*...*beaming*..."
I was 24 and engaged to a guy. Decided to go camping overnight with a couple of old high school friends who were lesbians. Played truth or dare and stated that I really wanted to kiss one of them. It happened. Next day I dumped my fiance and moved out.
I was 22 and married when I started to get those "uh oh" moments. I didn't know who I could tell, and for some reason I went to my 17-year-old sister, terrified. Now, we share that day as our coming out day to each other!
My daughter came out to me one day when we went out to lunch and that gave me the strength to come out, 2 weeks later! That was about 15 years ago!
I picked that last one as the winner. Something about the idea of someone from the younger generation giving someone from the older generation the inspiration to come out just really moved me. Thanks to everyone who shared their coming out stories. I know how hard this can be, even if you always seemed like a lesbian . (Longtime readers will remember that I shared mine in five parts back in 2011. See Butch Wonders, Coming Out Married, Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.) Happy coming out day to everyone who is out, as well as everyone who is thinking about coming out. We're rooting for you!