Let me just say something: You will never finish coming out.
We live in a world where it is automatically assumed that everyone is straight. When you start a new job, meet some new friends while you’re on vacation or when starting a new friend, you will come out, even if it’s not by announcing your sexuality to the world. Once you’re out, you typically can be pretty proud of it. For me, though, I can’t be proud.
I am out as a bisexual girl to my school, but not out to my family or to my church. I am out on my Twitter and Tumblr, but not out on Instagram and Facebook. I am out as genderfluid only to my closest friends. Switching back and forth from “your favorite gay loudmouth” to “the very proper straight girl” to “the brooding non-binary boy” is really hard, especially because being part of the LGBT community is difficult. I want to talk to my mom about a girl I like, but I can’t because she’s homophobic. I want to tweet about getting top surgery, but I can’t because I don’t know how my friends would take it. I want to shop in the men’s section, use the blue piece when I play “Life”, be called by my proper pronouns all the time but I can’t, because I cannot come out. My parents would kick me out, my friends would shun me. I am too scared of being alone to be me.
Being in the closet, especially the way I am, takes a toll on your emotions. My dad and I have a strained relationship, and I feel like part of it is because I’m holding back who I am. Every time I see him, I want to tell him; I want to lift this weight off my shoulders. I know I can’t. He’s already told me that if I’m gay, I shouldn’t tell him, or he’d get violent. So I can’t. The mere thought of me coming out to him consumes my every thought, sometimes with such intensity that I can’t focus on schoolwork, on hanging out with my friends, on whatever I’m doing because the fear that he might find out my secret, the fear that I might tell him, is too overwhelming for me to handle.
If you have a partner, that’s yet another emotional burden. I was absolutely in love with my last partner, but I told my mom we were friends so we could hang out with each other without supervision. That part was fun, but the constant paranoia that our parents would walk in on us making out was less fun. Social media increases the paranoia, because it’s a clash of both worlds. I wanted to show off my love everywhere, but I couldn’t even post cute pictures of us without raising suspicion from sneaky relatives. It was worrisome and very scary, the thought that one in depth comment on an “are we gal pals or are we more” Instagram post could get me kicked out of my house.
However, in the places that I am out, I have a lot of fun. It’s nice, knowing I can be me. I’m not extremely vocal about my gender or sexuality, but the little things, like talking about a recent crush or my friends using he/him pronouns, really validate my identity in ways that can make my day. I can show my pride in small ways, like saying my point of view as a member of the LGBT+ community in a class discussion. It’s not a lot, and it’s not enough, but it’s something, and I’m proud of that little something.
Although you technically never finish coming out, you will reach a time where you are out to your satisfaction. I’m nervously anticipating the day that my family finds out about my sexuality. Then, I will be out to my satisfaction. Even though I will be a little more alone, I will be satisfied. Being stuck between two worlds like this is very hard. You want to show your pride, but you can’t.