Despite me having shared my sexual orientation at the beginning of the month, I actually feel a bit apprehensive as I am writing this. I decided to do so since I wanted to open up a bit to you guys and hopefully help someone who’s still having trouble with coming into terms with who they are and having to come out. Quick Note: This is a rather long post since I did go into a lot of detail with my experience.
I grew up in a very religious family which meant they’re extremely traditional. I grew up with the idea that love is with a male and a female, and that anything out of that range wasn’t natural. However, I did notice that I would get really nervous not just talking to boys, but to girls as well. It got worse when I hit puberty (which was at a very young age) and I started to get overwhelmed with so many emotions (as you do when you hit puberty.) I didn’t really come into terms with it until I was about 14 or 15 (which was more or less 8th or 9th grade.) I was already tired of having to fight myself with all these feelings and I soon found that a few of my friends at school were the same as me.
Now, I went to a private school where there were nuns in every corner when I moved to the island, so despite having many friends who were on the same boat as me, it was really hard to really be ourselves out loud—especially since there was one year where a few of the nuns were actually handing out pamphlets for an anti-same-sex marriage march. Coming out to my friends wasn’t really that hard since I already have a loud personality and they have seen my true self. What was hard about coming out was trying to think of how to do it with my family.
I actually didn’t want to come out to them so I tried to keep it a secret as best as I could. I only told maybe one or two family members that I thought I could trust. When I was in my last two years of high school, I had a girlfriend. We were two years apart, but we didn’t really care at the time. We both had similar backgrounds with our families being incredibly religious. When we were dating, I attended her quinceañera(basically a sweet sixteen, but it’s celebrated for when you turn 15 if you’re from hispanic heritage) and actually thought about asking her to marry me when she graduated high school. That was until a few months after I turned 18.
One day, her mom saw that I had sent an “I love you” message to her and went straight to the principal’s office. At the time, her mom didn’t even know my age. She just saw my name and the message and absolutely hated the idea of her daughter being with another girl. She only found out about it when the principal talked to her about me. Her mother demanded that I break up with her or else I would get expelled from the school. From what I heard, she even sent my ex-gf to therapy in hopes that would “cure” her.
I remember the pain and fear I felt that day. Not only because I was forced to break up with the person I loved, but also because the principal actually called my family and told them everything. Now, the principal thought that my family would be accepting and help me through this. When I came home, I was greeted with yells. I kinda knew that was going to happen, but it still hurt when it did. I couldn’t stop crying the entire day. I even tried to watch many different versions of Beauty and the Beast (since it’s my favorite movie) in hopes that would calm me down, but it didn’t. My dad was rather calm with it. He actually thought it was a rumor, but when I told him that I like both males and females, his face became unreadable and he stayed quiet for a really long period of time and then just left my room without saying another word to me until the next morning. He said that he hopes that “God will put me on the right path”. The person who was understanding was one of my uncles. Apparently, he had already known about my sexuality without me telling him and when he heard what happened, he let me know that I can count on him for whatever reason and I’m grateful for that. Right now, I feel like most of my family is just pretending the fact that I’m bi-romantic doesn’t exist—most probably to the point that they suppressed it—which kind of sucks because that kind of seems like I have to hide that part of myself once more.
Months later, in my first year of college, I listened to one song that brought all those memories back, but also made me feel better with choosing who my family and friends are. That song was Spectrum by Boyinaband ft. Cryaotic & Minx. I bawled when I heard it. I felt like I had a long-overdue hug from someone I never even met before. Soon enough, I met people who had to go through the fear of coming out and the hurt of rejection of those who they thought they could trust and they accepted me for who I am. I am absolutely grateful for them.
If you’re going through something similar to what I did, please know, you’re not alone. There are people out there who support you and want you to feel safe. Be with those people who make you feel like you can fully be yourself—otherwise, you’ll be in this endless cycle of having to hide a major part of yourself and you’ll ultimately never be happy. If you don’t have anyone to turn to, don’t be afraid to message me. I’m a good listener (or rather reader in this case) and I will do my best with giving advice.
This has got to be my longest post yet. Thank you if you actually read this in its entirety. Until next time, keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone. 🐾
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I do NOT own any of these pictures and have made my best effort in giving credit due.