When I came out to my mother, she said, “Does Chris know?” At that point, we had already been together for three years! 25 years later, our standing joke: “Wait a minute. Are you telling me you’re gay?”
When I came out I was a Baptist music minister. I lost my career, my family, and all my “friends.” Now my family loves me more than ever and I have friends who love me for who I am (and a much better career!).
When I came out one world shut me completely out and another opened up. I lost the majority of the family that I had known my entire life but gained the love and acceptance of a new family, a family that loved me for me, not for who they wanted me to be. Much has changed, and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t hurt to lose the love and respect of my family, but knowing all of that I would do it all over again a million times. I am out and proud and for the first time in my life, truly happy.
When I came out, I lost all 34 members of my family to anti-gay hatred. They declared war on my life; ten years were lost to “ex-gay” ministry, and my place at the table of the heart of my family’s love was never recovered. After 12 of the greatest years of my life with my wonderful partner, I realized that I wasn’t the one with the “problem”; I’d do it all again even earlier; and the educational system and churches in this country are not nearly as honest about real people’s lives as they need to be.
When I came out to my uncle, he was more freaked out about me being a vegetarian than a lesbian.
When I came out in 1978 I worked up the courage to tell my Mom about it, and she said, “Oh I know that, Honey.” She finished by saying that her only regret was that she’d “never be able to dance at my wedding.” I thought about that all day on October 9, 2004, when I married my wonderful husband, Scott.
When I came out at 42, I was sitting at my dining room table with my parents. Before I even said a word, my Mom said, “I know what you’re going to say, and you’re going to break your father’s heart.” I turned to my much-loved Dad and said, “Dad, I’m gay. Does that break your heart?” We’re closer than ever, and they love my wife.
When I came out to my mother (after moving out) I told her that one of the reasons that I hadn’t told her earlier was because I didn’t want her to feel like she had to choose between her religion and her daughter. She said, “Why would I choose anything over my child? Thank you for finally feeling that you could be honest with me.”
When I came out, I was in the back of the car with my parents driving because I didn’t want to see the looks on their faces out of fear. It was an unjustified fear.
When I came out to my mom, she said she’d had a feeling since I was four years old. I told her she might have clued me in at some point. We laughed, cried, hugged, and were okay. A few years later, after I’d divorced my wife and had been in a relationship with my (now) husband, she said, “I like him so much better than your ex-wife.” Her last words, on her deathbed, were to him and me: “You guys are a godsend.”