Growing up in a small town in rural Washington was similar to growing up in any small community—tightly knit and deeply conservative. I remember the year when I admitted to myself what I was… I was gay. It all made sense. The times of looking at male catalogue models in underwear and pajamas, the gravitational […]
Coming Out and Back into the Closet
I am a 21-year-old woman that has been attracted to females ever since I was 12 years old. I have been gay my whole life but I figured it out around that age and just assumed that I was bisexual. I didn’t want to be different than the other kids in school and I was still figuring myself out at that time. I was very, very confused about myself.
At 16, I realized that I was sexually attracted to just females and, when I was 17, I came to the conclusion that I was a lesbian. I came to terms with myself and fell in love with another woman. I was and have always been emotionally attracted to men but I couldn’t be with a man physically. It just repulsed me all the time.
The first person I came out to was my oldest brother. He was very accepting of me. At around the age of 19, I came out to my mom and told her I liked girls. She was shocked and kept asking me questions. “Is it because you are distant with your father that you are seeking out a relationship with a woman?” I told her none of that was true but she was supportive and said she would love me no matter what. I told my second oldest brother next and he said he would love me but that my actions were not what God intended for me. He prayed that I would change myself for the better. At age 20, I came out to my stepdad and he told me I was crazy and insane and that he wouldn’t talk to me anymore. He said that my siblings and I had mental problems and we needed help. My mom agreed with him and I almost broke down crying because of her lies.
I live in constant fear every day because of this. That people will change the way they believe because they think it’s not normal. After I came out I told my stepdad, within a few weeks of telling him I was gay, that I was straight. And he was happy. But I knew I was lying to myself and it hurt inside. When I thought about coming out to my dad, I asked how he would feel if any of us were attracted to the same sex. He told me that he hoped that none of us were gay. I never talked about it again.
I worry that who I am will damage my relationships with my family. I worry that my younger siblings will be forced to stop talking to me because of who I am. I claim I am straight for the sake of my family even though I will be unhappy. I want to come out again, but this world, even the people we think we can trust, are full of lies. I don’t want to be scared but I feel I always will live my life in fear.