Coming Out Of The Closet As A Gay Teen

Coming out! It is a scary time for every person of the LGBTQIA+ community and every one of us has to go through it, and we usually don’t come out once but multiple times. We come out to our friends, parents, family, peers and colleagues. As we get older it becomes easier, and generally not even needed. Now I feel that I don’t have to come out to people and that if they have a problem, it’s theirs and not mine.

But it wasn’t always like that. And I, just like everyone had a tough time coming to terms with my sexuality. It was when I was about 14 when I started to notice guys. I was in denial for so long. I was okay with gay people. I always knew that my uncles were gay and I was completely fine. It was just something I wasn’t. Or so I thought at the time. When I was 15 and in year 10, there was a boy in the year above me. A senior who I would always stare at and admire how beautiful he was. But no! I wasn’t gay! That just wasn’t me. I remember thinking how being gay was for other people, but not me. But after months of being in denial, one day I completed my usually routine and finished art class, I walked from H block and stared at the guy, but I finally admitted to myself. “Brett! Admit it! You’re gay! You’re a big fat flamer and you like penis!” I felt as though a massive weight had been lifted!

How I Came Out Of The Closet

Now that I had admitted it to myself, I needed to talk about it. Back when I was in high school, there weren’t a whole lot of options as to where you could meet other gay teenagers. But one place that was popular to chat was on the website of a local radio station, so I hopped on there and started chatting. It was an open chat so I was anonymous. “Any gay guys?” I typed and waited. Someone responded and we went to a private chat. He seemed nice and we had things that we had in common, so we decided to exchange numbers. He said he would call me, so I disconnected from the computer and ran to my room to await his call. I was so scared, nervous and excited. I had butterflies and it felt like it had been hours, but in fact it was only a few moments. He rang and we talked into the early hours of the morning. We talked over the phone for about 2 weeks until he suggested we meet. I agreed but was so scared. We arranged to meet in a public space. (I wasn’t stupid. This was the early days of the internet, but I still knew not to meet a total stranger somewhere private) We met and wow! I had never done anything like that before. It was one of the most exciting but scary things I had ever done. I was so nervous that I took a backpack with every CD I owned. It weighed a tonne! But, after that initial meet, we had gotten to know each other more and we became good friends.

The next person I came out to was an actual family member. I went to lunch with her and I said I wanted to buy some designer clothing and black nail polish (I was going through a wannabe Goth stage. How tragic). She asked why and said people might think I was gay. I said maybe I was. My gosh, I just did it. It felt like an eternity for her to answer, and she replied with love and kindness.

Rainbow sexuality label
Image: I Am Gay!

I slowly came out to friends after that and was met with support and kindness. But the big one was my parents! I remember it so clearly. I was in my room one morning and my mum came in to just have a chat. We ended up on the subject of my internet friend, (as far as she knew, he was a friend of a friend) and she said she thought he might have a crush on my uncle. I said probably, and then she asked if I had a crush on my friend. I said I did and she started to cry. Not exactly the reaction I had hoped for. She said she was just hoping I would marry a nice girl who would give her grandchildren and they could go shopping and my brother would marry some skank that just wanted sex and money. Her words, not mine. After the initial shock things were fine I thought, and it took her many years to come to terms with it. I’m honestly not sure if she is 100%. As for my father, well we’ve never had the talk, and never will. It’s just an unspoken thing that has just been accepted. He and my mother have had discussions about it, she’s told me. He loves me and just wants me to be happy, and that’s all that matters. We don’t need to have a big coming out moment. I was met by full support from my brother. That felt good.

I have been very lucky with my coming out story. I have had very little negativity, and what little I have, have been from unimportant people. I’ve had friends who have had horrendous coming outs. They’ve been bashed, kicked out of home and abandoned by their family. So I am definitely very lucky that I have had such an easy coming out. But, it is still mine and I have had my own difficulties, the main one being the response from my mother. In every other way we are close, it hurts but we are getting better.

Coming out is hard for every single person and not an easy thing to do but we just have to support each other. If we don’t get that from our families, we make our own, whether it be from blood, or friends. But either way, we need to surround ourselves with love, support and positivity. It does get better!

Author: Brett is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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