When I first came out my family thought it was a joke. I often use comedy as a way to cope with stressful or traumatic events in my life. So, naturally, I make tons of jokes and leave hints hoping people catch on so I don’t have to say the words “I’m bisexual”. However, this was not the case. No matter how many times I inferred, it wasn’t until I said the words that my mom got it. When I finally told her, she laughed and said, “no you’re not”. When I told my sister I was finally finding my way into the gay twitter community she said; “ but you’re not gay”. Again, leaving me to formally come out. Months later, when revealing my insecurities in my current relationship because of my sexuality she exclaimed: “wait, you were serious?”
In addition to the obvious disbelief and joking manner, their next step was to ask: “how does your boyfriend feel about this?” This confused me to no end because why would it matter? It is MY identity. We may be partners, but I have my own personality and identity apart from him. I try to understand; maybe they think he would be hurt by me discovering my sexuality and how I came to this point while dating him, but he has been the most supportive person. Through all my distancing, wondering how I could feel this way, and bouts of self-hatred; he remained my rock and reminder that I was still myself.
While I don’t believe the term “coming out” should even still be used today, I understand I’ll probably have a million more coming out stories moving forward. From telling family members to trying to talk to coworkers about a cute girl; everyone expects you’re straight until told otherwise.
Healthy Reminder: Someone else’s reaction to your personal identity is a reflection of them, not a critique of you.