It’s been almost a 2 years since I “came out” to my friends and family. I have grown into my true self these past years which has made me stronger and more confident as a young man. People ask me all the time when did I know that I was gay? To be completely honest, I have no idea. I don’t think I was born gay. I feel like it’s been more of an evolving process of self-discovery through the years. However, the one thing that has been upsetting is how people are prone to classify me as straight or gay.
Why should that matter?
As long as I remember, people have always been trying to determine my sexual preference. It was the summer after my first year of college, when I started to come to terms with my sexuality. For the longest time, I always felt that I had to hide something. I was constantly judging myself in the way I talk or act because I never wanted to be perceived “gay.”
It was a late summer afternoon and I had gotten lunch with my mom and we started talking about my recent trip to Italy. My mom brought up the discussion of relationships and I knew immediately where she was heading with this topic. At that very moment, I confessed to her that I was gay and it was the most liberating feeling EVER! We both sobbed and my mom told me with confidence “I don’t care if you like men or women. What I care about is that you are a good friend, father and brother. Stay true to your faith and all great things will come your way. If anyone dares to put you down because of who you choose as a partner then they can f**k off.” From that very moment forward, I knew I could finally accept myself for who I am. Open arms and hearts best describes the experience I have had in coming out to friends and family.
Two years have passed and it has not been easy. I had to dig deep into my faith to surround myself with a loving tribe. The best advice I can give to myself and others is when you feel you are doubting yourself and going down a negative path ..breath..breath ..breath…most importantly make a mental shift to replace your negative thoughts with possibilities and opportunities.
To anyone who has come out or is still figuring themselves in this process, my advice is don’t feel the pressure of being pulled or forced to decide who you are.
JUST!!! Be yourself and know you are amazing !