Hilarious, poignant and heartbreaking coming out confessions.
1. “I decided I would first tell my friend Maggie, who I’d known since I was 6. We went to dinner, and with my stomach in my throat, I said, ‘So, that news I have to tell you? I’m gay.’ With that, more than 20 years of having a 500-pound weight on my back lifted.…Maggie just smiled and said, ‘Finally!’ We both laughed for a good five minutes, and I felt so amazing afterward.” — Amy S., 29, Waltham, MA
2. “My parents confronted me one Sunday after church in high school. My mom had read my journal. She sobbed and sobbed. They kept asking me, ‘Why and how?’ And I kept replying, ‘I just am.’ My mother said, ‘It makes me sick to my stomach to have a gay daughter.’ Even in that horrible moment, I remember thinking that finally talking about my sexuality was the most freeing feeling of my life. I whimpered out of my parents’ house that night, and a friend met me and bought me cake-flavored ice cream to celebrate.” — Arizona N., 29, Brooklyn, NY
3. “It was college-graduation day when I came out to my family. They don’t really accept it, but they love me. So like a lot of black families, you just don’t really talk about it. It broke my heart that I couldn’t tell my little cousin that the ‘boy’ I was dating at the time was really my girlfriend.” — Tieara M., 32, Chicago, IL
4. “I told friends while backpacking in Europe. They said they already knew since I’d stopped talking about guys and been in a lot of productions of The Vagina Monologues.” — Hayley B., 26, Toronto, ONT
5. “I was on an eighth-grade field trip and had momentarily lost sight of one of my best friends. When someone pointed to her, I saw her kissing a boy, and the sight hit me like a lightning bolt to the chest. I knew it as jealousy the moment I felt it, and it scared me.” — Valerie L., 26, Astoria, NY
6. “I came out last night when I kissed my date and three men saw it as an invitation to join or watch. I came out when the guy on the train asked for my number. I come out when girls think I’m the straight friend at the lesbian bar. I’ve been out for 10 years, but I never stop coming out.” — Jodi S., 25, New York, NY
7. “My mom died two days before Thanksgiving in 2009. I had moved home six months earlier to take care of her as she lost her fight against cancer. My mom was my best friend, and I believe she knew that I was gay long before I did. She never approved of my boyfriends, and for good reason. When I finally figured it out for myself, I thought about who I wanted to come out to most. That person would have been my mom. I was a little too late.” — Ally J., 26, Chicago, IL