Coming out to your parents…

I created this blog to inspire LGBT youth and create a space where LGBT people could come together and discuss their experiences as well be a sounding board to others who need hope. My main concern after coming out to myself (self hate and internalized homophobia are real and terrible, message me if you are in that boat) was coming out to my parents. I was not afraid to come out to my dad. He is what my mom describes as a “fence rider”. If you are unfamiliar with the lingo, it’s mainly a Christian way of saying a little grey rather then black and white in opinions.

Anyway, I was a wuss and called my dad at work. I didn’t come out, I just asked him if he cared if I dated a girl. 🤦🏼‍♀️ He responded with “I thought you might ask me that, no honey I don’t care” Sweet, right?! Think again. I also asked him not to tell my non-fence riding mom. (Hi mom!)

Let’s just say daddy has a big mouth and around 5:30 that night my mom blew up my phone with astonished texts! She was upset so I did what I knew to do, avoid her at all costs. I wish I could tell you everything was great after that, but in reality, it was so lonely. My mom wanted details, how long have you known? Why didn’t you tell us? Was church camp awkward? She was trying to grasp what she didn’t understand.

My mom is a smart lady. She did what all smart ladies do when they are faced with confusion, research. She read Christian books about people who are gay and Christian. She read about some guy that became “straight” through Jesus and went on to have seven kids. (Although, I still am willing to put money on the fact that dude probably has an active Grindr account). She read pro gay books and anti gay books. My mom consulted with pastors, friends with gay kids, and reached out to her social supports. I applaud her.

My mom cries way too often when she goes to church service. I looked at her glassy eyes growing up and never understood it, but her faith is the leading role in her life. It still is and I love that about her. I never want my life to question her faith. Maybe some aspects of her faith, but the raw stuff that makes her all teary and emotional, no.

My mom met my future wife eight months after we started dating. I don’t know who was more nervous. I was working and my mom had to drop off the kids. By December my wife and I stayed over at their house for Christmas. Several months ago my mom toured the Equality Center with me. I was so proud.

My mom loves us as a couple and a family. She always includes my wife and never says anything homophobic towards us. She has rallied for us when her support system disagreed. To be honest, I’m not sure if she completely agrees or disagrees with homosexuality. I think she is happy to have a happy daughter and daughter in law. This makes me feel free to be myself, because adult kiddos still need to feel accepted.

As far as my dad, he hasn’t come around to accepting homosexuality, but he accepts us and loves us anyway. Will he ever rock a rainbow t shirt and walk with me at Pride? No, but I’m fine with him right where he’s at. It took a long time to come out, and I am aware it may take longer for others acceptance.

Share your stories with me!

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Woodrow’s story

I love Woodrow’s story and honesty:

So at first I wanted to be sure i wasn’t straight, so ever since I was 12 when I started being attracted to boys, I wanted to make sure that it was my own choice. At 13, I was still getting sure, and even had a dream about having a boyfriend, but i wanted to make sure if I liked girls too. Then, near the end of 13, I felt like I would be happier as a girl, and thought maybe since I’m a boy, I like boys, but if I’m a girl, I’ll like girls.However, that feeling soon went away when I was later more content in being a boy, but still keeping an androgynous fashion, and i guess I’m still finding out if I’m bisexual or gay. But because I’m still young, I have all the time in the world to find out

Jess’s honest and inspiring coming out story.

I was born on Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas, to two young Catholics who really should have never gotten together in the first place. They named me John. Dad’s name was John, his Dad’s name was John. They planned on using my middle name. I just don’t feel like typing it. I went by that name for 30 years. It was a fine name but it wasn’t me. They thought I was a boy. Turns out I wasn’t.

They got divorced, Mom remarried, we moved to Oklahoma where Mom was from. I grew up in a town that was basically a big evangelical church. I grew up in an actual evangelical church. Mom had her reasons for leaving the Catholic church at the time. So for most of my upbringing I was expected to be a straight Christian guy. There was no other choice.

There are a few little memories from when I was a kid, that when I think back on them, it seems obvious that I knew I should be a girl. But they are few, because I don’t think it took long for me to really bury those feelings down deep. Until they were no longer in my conscious mind. Until they became denial.

I realized I liked boys as a teenager. I buried and hid this too. I was a football player, I was in the church band. At this time in the 90’s in a suburban town, everything you heard about being gay was negative. You were evil, a sinner, a pervert if you were gay. Not worthy of love, worthy of getting your a** kicked, possibly to death. These things happened in our country. Still do. And everybody you knew reinforced this, your family, school, church.

I kept denying who I really loved. In college I tried to have a serious straight relationship with my high school sweetheart. It didn’t work. But she is family to me now and I will always love her. After we broke up I met someone online. This was 2004. There was no grindr! We had a little website called Gay.com! I talked to this cute guy, and we talked and talked online. For months. Finally I drove down to see him I Tahlequah. He tried to put his arm around me in public and I hit him! It was a reflex. I was still conditioned by the way I grew up. Boys don’t do that. Later that night, we had some drinks and I melted into his arms. I knew after that night. This was right. I’m supposed to be with a man.

Shortly after this I went to a party and got way too drunk. I had just started drinking at 20 years old, and I wasn’t used to it yet. I came out as gay to all of these people at the party, a lot of them from my high school. I was embarrassed. I hadn’t planned on saying anything like that. But at least the cat was out of the bag with some of my friends. A few of my straight friends who were cool asked me out of curiosity what it was like when I was with this guy. What I said should have really raised some more questions! I said, “when we are together I just feel like a girl, like I want to do what your girlfriend would.” When I look back on that statement, I don’t see how I could still be in denial.

It took 5 more years before I admitted to myself that deep down I was a woman. I had moved to LA and come back to Tulsa. I was always online, and always looking at anything that had to do with transgender people. Personal blogs, personal ads, the story of Christine Jorgensen etc. I had always had a fascination with anything that had to do with someone in any way not acting or expressing the gender that others expected of them. Any male born person wearing women’s clothes in a movie would immediately get my attention. I would dress up in Mom’s clothes when everybody was out of the house when I was a teen. These things don’t mean you have to be transgender, but added to all the feelings I had inside, they pointed in that direction. So I had all along been reading anything I could about this subject online. By the time I realized that I felt this way, I knew what it was. I had learned about it even in my denial, because somewhere deep down I knew I was supposed to be a woman. So one time I was talking to a gay girlfriend of mine that I had become very close with in college and It finally just came out. I said, “I think I’m transgender.” As I heard myself say those words it was as if the veil had been lifted. I said in my mind, “ohhhhh. No, I KNOW that I am.” I finally knew myself and why I felt the way I did. I was 26.

So what do you do? I was afraid. Afraid about how I could do this. In Tulsa. How could I deal with my family. I knew they couldn’t accept this. I had never even told them I had been dating men since college. I was supposed to be a perfect straight son. I decided I would move in with that same friend I talked to on the phone. In San Francisco! I came out to Mom. She didn’t understand. It was like I had to keep telling her. She would act like it was a phase that went away. She wanted me to see a counselor that she had picked. No way. I was afraid they would be religious and basically try some conversion therapy on me. She tried to say I had to go. I told her she could cut me off with some finances she was helping me with, but I was an adult and I was going to be myself, and I was moving to San Francisco. She did eventually cut me off.

I wanted to get away from all the people I knew. I couldn’t go through this in front of them. But I learned even in the queerest place like San Francisco, my issues were internal. I had internalized all of the homophobia and transphobia and I hated my self. I wasn’t comfortable with anyone. It was even harder to be honest with strangers, not easier. I knew that if i moved home that I had a lot of good friends, who could support me. I was leaning on my one friend in SF very hard. I was depressed about my body and how I looked and how other people saw me. I thought I needed a lot of money. I didn’t have any. I was floundering.

I moved back to Tulsa and started working again at my previous job. Soon the boss asked me and another co worker if we wanted to start a new business and we would all be co-owners. Of course! But in the back of my mind I was worried. I had never come out at work. But they would have to know at some point. At the same time I started seeing a good therapist finally and got hormones. I moved in with my best friend of the past few years. I was now 30 years old and was finally starting my transition. My best friend that I had moved in with was the nicest, kindest, sweetest guy ever. We started hanging out right around the time I had first realized I was trans. I told him soon after I found out! When I was with him I always felt like I was home. We tried to get together before, but I didn’t think it would work. He was a gay man and I was eventually going to transition to female. So I stopped it. I had issues to deal with. But when I moved back to Tulsa we had those feelings again, and I decided if he loves me and he wants me I will just accept that and what ever will be, will be. We are still together ❤️

So I started hormones, had my first real boyfriend in years, and was starting a business. It was too much. But somehow I was making it through. Eventually, my body was changing enough that I needed to come out. I needed to start living everyday as a woman in public. I made a post on Facebook for my friends, they were overwhelmingly supportive. Then I needed to come out at work, and to my business partners. I thought I might lose my job. That they wouldn’t want to work around me anymore. I came out to them and they both told me they supported me and they supported me in our business as well. I cried. I had worked with these guys for years and they had shown me so much love with their answers. I made a post for our customers and they were also overwhelmingly positive. A couple of haters but nothing too bad.

It was time to go out into the world, as a woman. It was so tough. I did not pass as a woman most of the time. The first week was the hardest. All of a sudden when I would be anywhere people would stare, sneer, and laugh in my face. I could feel some people’s hate, their eyes on me. Some people would look right past me at work even after I greeted them. Like I wasn’t a person. Almost every day that week I came home at lunch and curled up in a ball and cried. I had never had so many people show their disgust for me. But even so, everyday I felt better about my body and how I looked and how i was feeling like I was getting closer to who I really am. It’s still hard sometimes but everyday gets easier. Unfortunately you have to build up a thick skin. You have to find an inner strength to know that you are being the best you and that you are beautiful. Luckily I get less negative attention these days.

I haven’t seen my Mom in 3 years. She says she doesn’t want to see me “like that” ever, and doesn’t want to meet my partner. She says this is because of her faith that she can’t. She won’t use the name or pronouns I prefer. So we don’t have a relationship. It has been very hard to deal with rejection like this from my own mother. I think that this is part of the lesson that transition has taught me. That you have to be strong and persevere and survive no matter who believes in you. It is worth it to look in the mirror and see your true self looking back, and smile because you see the sparkle in your own eye at the thought that you are finally you. Surround your self with good people, those people who see the true you, know and love the true you. Make them your “chosen family.”

Be kind to any trans person you know, they have come through the fire just to be standing next to you.

Love,

Jessa Gianna DiPesa “Jess”

Kim’s coming out story!

Not me, but the beautiful Kim above (thank you for sharing Kim ❤️):

My whole life up until the age 22 I had dated men. I would date that person for 3-6 months and there was no real attraction but I was following the societal and religious norm- that’s what was expected of me. It was the same cycle for 3+ years (date for 3-6 months, break up, repeat)

During this time I had very close female friendships and the thoughts had crossed my mind- “what if I’m gay?” But I quickly blocked that out because I was raised in a religious family and that was not acceptable. I struggled back and forth with this for 2-3 years or so- I even put myself in counseling because there was definitely something wrong with me. The way I had been raised told me that everything I felt was wrong and that I had to shut that down and essentially live alone- unhappy. I quit going to counseling mainly because each time I went I got more and more depressed knowing what I was. I felt like I just couldn’t get it right. At that time I quit counseling and decided that for me- I just wasn’t meant to be with anyone. I wasn’t meant to find love, get married or have kids.

I moved away from school to help my family after a tornado and I met a girl who loved Jesus but was gay. That was a very weird experience for me because I didn’t know you could do both. So, long story short- it didn’t work out for more reasons than one but at that time I spent a moment realizing that it all made sense- this is who I was and it didn’t mean that I had to compromise my love for Jesus.

I can’t explain it other than to say that being gay was my normal- it was “natural” for me and being with a man felt so wrong in so many ways- I hated who I was when I dated men because I wasn’t myself.

At this time- no one knew my secret. Like I previously said- my family was very religious and there was just no way I could ever let my secret out. I made a move to Tulsa for a change and stumbled upon a few awesome friendships and I really started to find my true self. This was an amazing revelation for me- I felt better than I ever had in my entire life. I wasn’t dating anyone but it felt so good to just know myself and have others accept me for who I was. Among these friendships, I stumbled into an amazing person who I was friends with for about 6 months before we really decided that we liked one another more than friends. We decided to give it a shot and see where life took us… I now have the amazing privilege of calling her my wife.

We started that journey in 2012 and from that moment nothing had ever felt so right. When we would go out- I had no problem telling complete strangers that we were together (except for the fact that living in Oklahoma and being gay is highly stigmatized)- I felt comfortable. I can only say that this really helped me get ready to come out to the ones in my life that were really important to me. After a couple years, I realized she was the one I wanted to spend my life with, so, after months of deciding to do it and having extreme anxiety- I bit the bullet and told my family. I called them up and it went a little like “So, I don’t know how to say this but… I’m gay and I’m dating so and so”. My family knew her and loved her so much when they thought she was just a friend, that they couldn’t really “dislike” her when they found out the truth.

My mom was shocked but the phone conversation was positive. She asked a lot of questions and I didn’t have answers for all of them but in the end, it went better than I thought it would. My dad’s response went a little like “Well, I don’t understand it, I don’t know if I agree with it but I love you. People are going to tell you that you’re going to hell but if they do then they’re in that same boat. Don’t worry about people judging you”. The rest of my family took it like champs and said they started to have the feeling that I was gay after I reached 25 and hadn’t dated anyone seriously for a long time.

A year or so later I married that woman and to this day it was the best decision of my life. I won’t say the journey was easy but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Figuring out who I was, was the best thing that had ever happened because it led me to an amazing woman who cares for me and supports me in every aspect of our life together. For those who don’t understand-the best way I can explain it is that what is “natural” for you is “unnatural” for me. Forcing yourself into a social construct because it’s “normal” isn’t the answer for everyone- it’s not a one size fits all.

My courageous teen cousin (fb coming out trans post) Let’s give him some love.

(WARNING I GET KINDA EMOTIONAL BUT PL E A S E READ THIS)

Okay so since it’s pride month I want to get one thing straight (im not) yes, I am part of the LGBT community and no matter what happens later on, THAT will never change. I am FINALLY happy with myself, I’m better mentally now that I have come out and come to terms with and learned to love myself. It’s been a really rough journey for not only me but my family and friends as well. Shouldn’t the fact that I’m happy now be what’s important? In sixth, seventh, and eighth grade I was tormenting myself and fighting with myself to the point of absolutely destroying my mental health, because I just couldn’t be ‘that way’. I didn’t want to disappoint my mother and ruin my image to her, I didn’t want my friends to hate me, and I didn’t want my family to shun me. But when I let that go and finally came out 3 years ago (on trans day of pride, June 14, 2015) I could finally begin to work on my self healing and acceptance. My mum has worked so hard and still is to come to terms with and be used to it, and that’s okay with me and more than I could ever ask for, even if sometimes I do get frustrated and fight with her on it. My aunt (that’s u Kim) has always told me to just focus on me, and what I really want. And I have. I do identify as male and go by a different name and pronouns, and I know that’s hard to get used to and accept when you’ve known me most of my life as a girl and Hannah. And that’s okay, as long as you’re nice about it. I’ve learned that. That some people will have a harder time than others, and that I need to be patient, and possibly a teacher to them. (Gah I’m crying now) I love and appreciate every single person who has helped me through this and allowed me to come to terms and work through this. Second Mum, thank you for always knowing and supporting me and half the time treating me as your own child lol, real mum thank you for truly working on and getting better at and never stopping loving me, friends thank you for standing by me and with me, teachers for always using my preferred name and never letting anyone say something disrimative, Mrs.Walls specifically for always using correct pronouns, supporting me these past two years, and always giving me the advice and reasoning I needed to stay patient with others (and letting me rant to you lol) and to everyone else, thank you for being understanding and loving even if you don’t ‘agree with this “lifestyle”’ 😉

SECRETLY out

Has anyone else ever been secretly out? I was for years. If I was hit on I had no problem telling the stranger that I was gay. No problem at all. It was a little sigh of relief, actually. But when it came to people who knew me..nada. Maybe that was my soul leaking out without backlash. Maybe I was scared. Yeah, scaredy Kim. Life sure is sweeter now.