So, this is a long story, because it is very detailed. I decided to write this up as detailed as possible for myself to look back on and remember correctly and also for any of you guys who might be struggling with sexual identity and coming out.
This post covers a short bit about how I found out I was gay (1.), and then the process of coming out: My best friend (2.), my parents (3.), my other very close friend (4.), and my plans who to tell next (5.).
1. As you can tell from my bio, I’m gay. And that is a pretty new thing for me. I’m still in the process of coming to terms with it, I guess. I first had thoughts about it last summer. And with more and more YouTubers coming out, I realised there was something else in those videos that made my heart race. It wasn’t just them being emotional. On a Tuesday early in December 2015 @connorfranta uploaded his video reflecting on his first year being out on YouTube and he also gave us, his audience, some tips on how to talk about it and how deal with stereotypes and that kind of stuff. That really pushed the buttons in my mind. What IF? What IF I am gay? And the same evening I rewatched some of the coming out videos I had saved in my list (yepp, I had started that list in summer – just in case). The following three days I read all the info I could possibly find about being gay, signs that you are gay and how to come out (and how not to). Not only in one language, but in all three that i am fluent in (more on languages in a later post maybe?). That really pressed ALL the buttons.
2. About 24 hours after watching Connor’s video, I decided, I needed to talk this through with my best friend. I knew he would understand. Just to give you an impression of how close we are: I’m 24 now and I’ve known him for 23 years. We have lived in the same house for 19 years. So, yeah, Wednesday night I texted him (I couldn’t have spoken – my voice would just have been one big choke) and asked, if we could meet on Friday (two days later basically), when I was back at my parents’ (I moved to another town, he still lives in the town we grew up). He was free that evening, but only late. I still agreed. On Friday, I was all ready to tell him! I really wanted to get this off my chest. It had already become quite a burden. But when he finally climbed the stairs to my room, both of us were very tired and I didn’t have the energy to tell him. Neither did I think he could have taken it. Or well… I wanted him to be 100% alert. And he wasn’t. The next day, he visited again. This was not planned. He just had stayed longer at his parents’ instead of going back to his own place and I wasn’t leaving until the next day. So we had all the time that evening. My parents were out somewhere, so there was noone else in the flat. And then I told him. We had done all the usual “how you been” talks the day before, so there was all the time. And I jumped right into it. Leading the conversation to a point were I went “I’m not sure, if it’s girls I’m interested in. I think it’s boys.” – and I just let it sink in for a moment. And he just was the best – no less than I expected it. He just went: “Hm… Yeah…” – And I knew everything was alright. Just like I had thought. And we chatted about how I discovered that I was gay, how it was perceived in society (not too well. We’re in Germany, so I won’t be threatened for my sexual orientation, but according to a recent survey only 60-something % agree that being gay is natural. We still have a long way to go here). And ultimately, who I was going to tell and when.
3. I decided to not tell everyone too quickly. I wanted to tell my parents in the weekend (cause that’s the only time I’m home). But it turned out that they had made plans every day in the following two weekends. “Right,” I thought, “it’s gonna be the days before Christmas or Christmas Day (none of us had plans for the 25th). But before Christmas I didn’t work up the courage to tell them (although again, I was not worried about their response – my mum has several lesbian friends and my dad is very open about this topic as well). Then on Christmas my mum got sick and spent most of the following days in bed. In that condition I didn’t want to tell her. And I wanted to tell both my parents at the same time. One time less coming out (which is quite hard!) and no keeping secrets from my mother for my father. When my mum was finally feeling better, it was one week later. And I was busy applying for jobs and rooms and what not. And my parents would start working again soon. But one day felt right. It was JUST before they got back to working again, but we were chatting at dinner and they seemed quite relaxed. PLUS: They apparently had no real plans for the evening – which is quite rare for my parents. So I thought, “this is it! This is your chance!” – and I told them. And they were – like my best friend – very surprised, but very, very understanding and helpful. They asked me, how I thought so and if I was sure. I was at that point. And I told them I was. My mum still seemed not 100% sure, but they said it made absolutely no difference whether I was gay, straight, bi (which my mother thought, it might be, after I told them I was gay), or whatever. I had anticipated this reaction, but it made me really happy to know for fact that it made no difference.
4. Next up was another close friend, who actually is the brother of my best friend. He’s younger than my best friend and I, but we’ve also spent most of our childhoods together. Again I was sure, he would understand and again I wanted to tell him when he had some time to think about it afterwards. So I waited a few weeks again because I knew that he had important deadlines until mid-January. I then texted him telling him there was something I wanted to tell him in person and if we could meet some time soon. That happened about 1.5 weeks ago. Like the other three, he was very, very understanding and told me nothing would change. And that he was very happy for me that i had found out. Telling him, I already noticed that it went way easier than the first two times. Of course I was still nervous like sh*t, but you kind of get some kind of routine. Even though every single time is different.
5. For now there’s only one talk left that I want to do: My best friends’ parents. Same story: Been living in the same two-family house with them for 19 years, plus most of the weekends of the last 4.5 years. They are like parents for me, but also not. More like a mixture of very wise persons, parents and friends. I’ll tell them this upcoming Saturday. It’s actually the first time that we arranged a time to meet. Usually we just walk right into the kitchen of the other. 😀
I’ll tell you how this talk goes. For now I’m just very lucky to have friends and parents that care so, so, so, so, so much about me and don’t give a f*ck, if I’m gay or not. I know you would expect caring friends and family, but I’ve read some horror stories online that I really don’t want to experience, nor wish anybody to experience.
Anyway. Very long story. But I just wanted/needed to write this down somewhere and thought, why not post it on tumblr?
Thank you very much for reading this far! I really like that you did! Now, if you want to, leave your thoughts below. Also feel free to send me an ask or message me about any questions you might have – about sexual orientation or coming out in general, about my experience with it or about my person. 🙂