I really never expected to have a coming out story. I thought I’d always be able to dismiss conversation about when I’d get a boyfriend; when all I wanted was date a girl. I’m bisexual only having dated guys made it easier for me. My first full on girl crush, was a close friend. She didn’t feel the same. I was so scared to tell my best friend and although a little taken aback, she found it kind of sweet and we were able to talk about it openly. After having told her, I ended up telling most of my close friends, which was nice.
Flash forward 5 years to 2015 and still having only dating guys, I wanted to try that ‘New Year new me’ thing. This was more so to see if girls even liked me. I went on my first date with a girl early that year; but nothing came of it.
I finally met someone in May; who I could tell would be ‘that girl’. By November we were dating and I was at my absolute happiest. I must have been on a high because I knew I had to tell my parents. We were long distance and I didn’t want to snoop around.
A call from my cousin at 3:00 am on 11th November made it a perfect time to tell her and plan how to tell my family. Within 1 hour we had constructed a message to send to my entire family. A 21st Century coming out, on a family Whatsapp chat is what we settled for.
The next morning I sent the message and awaited everyone’s responses; sadly in 15 minutes only my cousin had read it. I was almost in tears when I saw that someone had seen it. I received a call from my brother which was swiftly followed by one from my Dad. I couldn’t hold back the tears through my brother telling me he was so proud of me. Then my Dad commented my bravery; followed by saying “You’ll always be my favourite daughter”.
I told my Mum separately (by email) and her response was very muted. But having met my girlfriend already (as my friend) it was clear they got on very well.
I’ve always felt there’s a stigma attached to POC coming out and the family’s reaction. For ages I felt what I had done was invalid because it wasn’t bad or dramatic enough but every person has a different story.
Illustrations by Elloise