I would say my coming out story is rather low-key. During the June/July period of 2011, I spent a lot of time alone. It was the school holidays and despite having many places to go and friends to meet- I really felt I needed some time for myself. Which is exactly what I did. After the holidays had passed- I felt rejuvenated and almost like a new me. Personally I felt more comfortable in my skin. I had spent my time learning more about myself and my emotions. Most importantly I had come to accept who I was and the emotions I felt. (You think you know who you are, but after spending time alone you get to learn so much more about yourself).
As 2011 was coming to an end I had a lot on my mind. I was finishing school and planning my future. One thing was clear to me though- I wanted to start adulthood as an open and honest person. No more secrets. I had decided that I would come out. I did a lot of research on the topic and came across many helpful individuals, whom all helped me grow and reassured me on my decision to come out. What I found so incredible was the fact that I hadn't met these people in person- yet they still influenced and inspired me.
Deciding when to tell my family brought up many questions- to which I needed answers. Luckily for me, I belong to a generation where search engines such as Google can answer questions within seconds. I knew that I wanted to be as comfortable as possible in the situation- therefore I decided I would tell them at home (a place I feel most comfortable). I also wore comfortable clothing- my favorite shirt and shorts. Something I took into consideration was that coming out should be done on day that doesn't belong to someone else. By that I mean a relatives birthday, Christmas or Easter. Coming out on these days might seem selfish or draw from the joyous occasion. I knew, personally, New Years day was a day my family generally spent together but it wasn't as important to the family as Christmas or New Years eve.
When planning on coming out I did not overlook anything. I had a back-up plan in case my parents/family reacted badly. I also made the family lunch on the day. I had told a close friend, one which I knew would respond positively, about my new journey prior to the occasion. This was almost like a trial or practice run before enduring my family's response. (All of this I believe makes you more prepared for a situation such as coming out.)
January 1st 2012. The Big DayI made my way home after a good evening spent celebrating with my friends (New Years Eve). I had told my family I was going to cook lunch- so I was the only one in the kitchen on the day. I had invited my immediate family over for the lunch. My parents, brother, sister and brother-in-law sat outside enjoying the fine weather whilst I prepared the food. I recall being so stressed about telling the family. Thoughts of delaying coming out ran my mind wild. My sister, whom I share a close relationship with, kept coming into the kitchen asking if everything was alright. She could sense my edginess. I got so anxious minutes before laying the table, I decided to take a walk to calm me down. The walk around 3 blocks felt so quick- probably because of all the thinking I was doing. As I approached my house I remember saying to myself "You're Greg and this is who you are- you cannot lie to them no longer. They love you regardless!" Truth was- I did not know how it would go- no one knows. I entered the house- went to the bathroom and splashed my face with water. By the time I got to the table- the table was set and the food was out. Everyone was taking their seats- I decided to remain standing. (I would advise everyone to try standing when telling others. Sitting is not the best when your anxious- but also you command attention when you're standing). Now- my heart was beating so fast I almost couldn't feel it. My hands were soaked and my throat was tight! And then I said it. "There's something I want to tell you guys- it's a new year and I want you all to know that I'm gay". At first everyone felt I was joking. My father replied "I'm gay too!" But I think as they noticed my change in complexion they realized the situation was not of joking matter. At this point my eyes scattered along the table waiting to see everyones response. Immediately my sister and mother got up to hug me. My father got up too- but then sat down shortly after standing. As my sister and I hugged- we cried- holding each other tighter. I felt emotionally drained, it was just so overwhelming. After all the commotion we all sat down and enjoyed the quietest meal I have ever had. Everyones minds were obviously buzzing. As I sat there watching everyone eat- I realized how big I had made it out to be, but most importantly how grateful I was to be sitting with my family. Today I was a new person- whether met with compassion or anger I knew it could only get better from here on out.
Coming out is not something that happens over night. One needs to plan long in advance. Truth is- every situation is unique, and no matter how much advice you get- it won't help unless you apply it to your situation. The most important thing is to ACCEPT YOURSELF FIRST. You need to be strong if the situation turns bad. Research more- learn more and ask more! Once you have come out- your siblings will turn to you with questions to which you have to be prepared to answer. Remember there is no rush. Also you should be considerate of everyone you tell. Although it is difficult to predict the outcome- you can still prepare for the worst. In conclusion- make sure you're doing this for the right reasons- to live life honestly and happily. To be yourself.