wait to have a relationship before coming out?

Discussion in 'Coming Out' started by actiondrum, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. actiondrum

    actiondrum Active Member

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    I am 26, in the closet to everyone I know. I am fem at times but mostly a sport tomboy, I don't actively seek out relationships with men, haven't dated a man in almost 2 years. I know people are starting to figure it out because of their comments and things. It's getting to the point where it must be a little obvious to some members of my family.

    For example, back when everyone was turning their fb profiles to a rainbow, I turned mine. My sister was later talking to me and she said that she would turn hers rainbow "if she knew someone personally who was gay that she wanted to support..." followed by a brief awkward pause and then I said something about how I didn't know anyone but am still giving support.

    Just this last saturday I went to my cousins wedding. Her husband has a lot of good looking, athletic guy friends, that are single there. My aunt had me in a bear hug telling me to go over there and talk to them like my sister and other single cousin are... it was awkward, she was swinging me around. My mom was sitting behind us, speechless. My mom never pressures me to talk to or date men. This same aunt, probably around 6-8 months ago, told me she supports gay people, that her friend came out as lesbian after college and that she has a wife. talked very positively about her and that they somewhat keep in touch. if she didnt know then she probably figure it out at the wedding. I mean, Ill admit, all these men were good looking, but I made no effort to talk to them.

    At this same wedding, after the incident with my aunt, I was sitting at the table with some other family members. one of my cousins who is in high school was next to me, she gets out her phone and starts showing me her recent photos and things she did for school/gymnastics. Then she tells me she wants to show me a little project she did. She says "I started with a photo of a group of friends, one of the girls put her arm around the other girl but I dont know why, maybe she just did it... but I cropped them out and put them into various places around the world but I want you to see the quote at the end" The quote ended up saying something like, life is best spent with a female friend by your side.... the whole thing was two girls hugging in front of the sphinx, pyraminds, mountains etc... I told her it was a really nice video to make for her friends and she was making solid eye contact with me. she has to know. She's 16 and she is very smart. and im not stupid either, she has to know... why else would she say that to me. and she only showed it to me... (this conversation has been on my mind all since, and I have been bummed out all week. At work, people have been asking whats wrong a lot. And im just saying that "I am getting over it and I"ll be fine/don't want to talk about it". This whole thing is bringing me down. This closet is sure starting to feel cramped. )

    And another time, idk what got us to this point but i also remember my mom saying that if any of her daughters turned out to be gay she would only be sad that they'd have to face more prejudice in their life but she'd love them the same always.

    recently my little sister put my cat up in the closet and then comes to tell me that "the cat wont get out of the closet." just cuz we do things like that as a joke but she said "wont get out of the closet" just too many times for me to not think it had deeper meaning...

    so obviously I am glad that I have members in my family who will be supportive, I don't think it'll be 100% support but it's looking good for when I decide to tell a few members in my family.

    Do others seem to wait until they've had a relationship to come out? ...I mean, ive been with men, and it really wasn't anything that i want to do again or even want to think about ever again. the first time I ever saw an erection I threw up in my mouth(really embarrassing story)... why do I feel like i have to experience a relationship to be able to come out. I am sure they're are some who knew they like women prior to a relationship just as there are that many who know they like men prior to sex. Part of me is thinking that this isn't something I can take back if I wanted to. its so official. but then does this mean i am more confused about my sexuality than I originally thought? It just doesn't seem confident that I am sitting here thinking I might need to take coming out back if I ever dated another man. Plus is it that stupid that I want to have sex prior to coming out or am I just using this as an excuse to not do the grown up thing and start coming out to people? My family is figuring it out, I should just consider going the honest route since they're figuring it out... Am I even making sense to anyone right now?

    I am basically looking for courage or advice or whatever input you want.
     
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  2. rac

    rac Well-Known Member

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    Coming out is different for everyone so come out when you are ready to do so. Waiting until you are in a relationship is up to you but some people may prefer you being out already before they start anything with you. Sorry, that's not a lot of help ;); others, I'm sure, will give you better advice. I just want to give you my support and wish you goodluck.
     
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  3. Queen

    Queen Member

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    Coming out isn't about who you're with, it's about who you are. It's about living your best authentic life, about being comfortable in your own skin.
     
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  4. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    I think your family is saying suggestive things to support you because on some level they know you're going through this process of coming to terms with self-identity. They're reaching out to you in a very subtle way.

    I don't think coming out has to be any grand gesture...date whom you will...if you date a woman, fine...if you date a guy thereafter, fine too. Being gay has nothing to do with being in a relationship with a person of any particular gender, either. As @Queen said, it's about who you are. Just be honest with yourself first...then be honest with others when you've accepted who you are.
     
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  5. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    This is such classic momspeke; my mom said the same thing, which in retrospect is sweet at and also sad. Your family is 100% dropping hints. "You know, if there's anything you ever want to tell us!" I'm surprised that they're not leaving pamphlets around casually with titles like "How to tell your family you might be a homo when they'll be totally fine with it."

    You don't have to test your sexuality. You don't have to prove anything to know for sure (I didn't). You are welcome to simply come out as maybe not straight, questioning, figuring it out. You are welcome to revise the label you identify with later, as your understanding of yourself evolves; you are welcome to not use a label at all.

    Not really. It seems that way right now, but I know like 7 people around my age who came out as lesbians during/before college, who have since found that that was probably not the best fit for them... and are in serious relationships with/married to men. As same-sex relationships become more culturally visible and normalized, and coming out happens earlier, I think that having some folks who learn more about themselves and their identity over time - and find out they're straighter than they thought, instead of gayer - is pretty normal. My friend groups have taken it in stride (along with my "surprise, here's my wife!").
     
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  6. actiondrum

    actiondrum Active Member

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    thanks everyone, I value all your inputs. I am going to do what feels right for me. I dont know exactly when and who I will come out to first but I am planning on it for 2016. I have kept my last two years resolutions and I am going to keep the ball rolling next year. Even if its just talking about it with my mom or my sister I am going to start trying. Keeping it inside is taking a toll on me and everyone is always trying to set me up with men or ask about guys im currently dating. I can't live like this for too much longer. I think I am eventually going to hit that breaking point!

    Honestly, work seems like the hardest place. I work with all women coworkers and have tons of clients that change very often but stick around for weeks/months at a time. I don't think I am going to do anything on that front at all but the ladies there can tell something has been going on with me because I must be acting a little more down, especially after the wedding two weeks ago. Theyre asking me whats wrong and I just keep saying im fine and not to worry about it. Ones says she wishes I would be more open about my personal life because everyone here cares about me. We really are like a little family. Still keeping this to myself. If I ever leave this job I will tell my closest buddy before I go so that one day if I am out on fb she wouldn't feel like I wasn't honest with her, we actually are pretty close.

    That leads me to think that I will at some point need to have a conversation with every close female friend I have ever had. I dont want them to read too far into our friendships and think there is something deeper or mistake my friendliness as romantic. If theyre truly my friend I guess it will turn out okay. If not then its fine. I dont have a best friend anyways. As for now I am so cautious of those situations where we might change clothing in the same room or something, I am awkward and I stare at the ground and face other directions meanwhile the other girls dont seem to care. I hate gym locker rooms. ugh. and I am in a wedding this summer and all the girls are pretty free when trying dresses on... I really dont want anyone feeling uncomfortable.

    gosh there is a lot going on in my head ya know... thank you everyone
     
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  7. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, only closeted and/or severely narcissistic people will be worried about this when they find you you like ladies. I think the "serious conversation with all female friends" will actually make this much much weirder than simply rolling with, "hey, here's a new thing about me, the same person you've known for a long time!"
     
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  8. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

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    I personally believe that coming out should be for yourself only so I personally , assuming I were still in the closet, would come out before I enter a relationship because I'd put this useless pressure to come out because of her.
    Also-sexuality can sometimes be fluid for some people so even if you come out while being in a relationship with time you may re-discover yourself and the label you decide to put may be unsuitable for you no more.

    In brief-come out for yourself on your terms, whenever it feels right for you :)
     
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  9. hum_dinger

    hum_dinger Well-Known Member

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    I decided to come out to my Mum first as I lived with her. I did this at 14 and was so shy to say the words that I wrote it on a piece of paper. She was very supportive and after that I didn't come out to my Dad until I was 17. Not because I thought he wouldn't approve (Dad actually loves that I'm gay because he doesn't have to worry about boys messing me around) I think the fact that I managed to tell one person I trusted and would accept it really took pressure off as at least one other person knew my 'secret'. Once I told my Dad I started to feel like I was truly accepting it myself and it made me slowly start to come out to friends I trusted. Thankfully they all took it amazingly and I can't say I've had a negative experience. For this I know how lucky I am.

    I guess I would say the same as everyone else on here, that it must be when you and you alone are ready. I would choose one person to tell and go from there. Trust me the more people you tell, the easier it gets to do and say and one day you might feel comfortable to be out at work.

    The way I feel about it now that I have been out for a while is I will happily tell people I am gay or I have a girlfriend and if they don't like it that's their problem and I don't want to associate with people like that.

    I hope things work out for you but by the sound of it you have a very supportive family. Good luck
     
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  10. Gyldenragg

    Gyldenragg Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if you have talked with any of your friends or family since your last message as we're now in 2016. If yes: well done! If not: that's okay, and I'm sure that some of the people here can help you clear your mind a bit although it's your own journey at the end of the day.

    First of all, coming out is a very individual process. For some people it's a piece of cake and barely worth mentioning, but I think most of us have felt some of that nervousness, tension, mixture of emotions and maybe even pure panic. Sometimes you can feel the weight of it on your shoulders beforehand, other times you don't until it's suddenly 'lifted off' once you've taken the step. (And trust me, that feeling is amazing!).

    Some people decide to come out when they 'find the right person' or at least are in a relationship they consider important enough. Others do it regardless of their current status. I think what's important is that you 1) do what you feel comfortable with and 2) listen to your gut feel in terms of what your authentic self is and what would make you happy.

    Although I'm not sure if you explicitly said so, I have a feeling that you want to 'confirm' your attraction to women before making the step 'in case you're wrong'. There's nothing wrong in being with a girl before coming out (obviously), but what's most important to keep in mind is the simple fact that it doesn't matter if you are wrong. If you find out you actually prefer guys after telling people you think you might like girls, so what? If you confirm your attraction to girls, great for you! And if you realize that you might like both, congratulations! Or maybe you'll experience that it changes over time.
    My point here is that you don't have to bother with a label unless you want to. I know society in general (and probably some of the people around you) will try to define you/put a label on you etc, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. What matters is what makes you happy.

    And although I don't want to make judgements about your life or come with quasi-intellectual observations when I don't know you at all, purely based on what you're writing it seems like you're not truly happy and that it stems largely from the fact that you're keeping something locked up inside of you and not telling a single soul about it.
    It sounds to me like you have a pretty strong support network around you who really care about you, so maybe it could be worth trying to reach out to one person to begin with? You don't have to come out to the whole bunch already, but if there's someone you're closer with it could be a good start. Normally it gets easier once you've told someone else. Or if you don't feel comfortable telling someone in your family yet, maybe talk with a friend or even an acquaintance as a starting point.

    One last point I'd like to make. You say you think you might need to have a deep conversation with every female friend just to ensure that they don't mistake your friendship for something romantic and read into things. Honestly, you don't. Firstly, I don't think your friends will think that you suddenly had a thing for them just because you tell them you like girls. And if they do, I think they might lean to the narcissistic side. On the contrary, I think your friends will be happy that you decided to open up and share something deeply personal with them, and that it might even bring you closer (because all of a sudden you don't have to withhold a big part of yourself).
     
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