Does coming out as gay make your life easier?

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Answered by: Christina, An Expert in the Coming Out as Gay Category
As a 24 year old lesbian, I have struggled with coming out as gay. It may be one of the hardest decisions someone in the LGBT community will struggle with. Well, I am here to tell you without a doubt it makes your burden lighter. It’s one of the most nerve racking and rewarding experience you will have live through. Right before you say it out loud a million questions will run through your head. Are they still going to accept me? Am I about to ruin a friendship? Will my family disown me? If someone wants to judge you for being different let them walk out of your life. Life is too short to allow someone else’s judgment dictate how you live.

Staying in the closet is an everyday battle. Every action and every word is carefully selected in an internal struggle before it can be released into the world. It can wear on a person. Before coming out I was extremely quiet and reserved. It was easier for me to not speak rather than having someone accusing me of being one of those gay people. It was my biggest fear. Every single homophobic thing you have ever heard someone say, I have said to myself. I hated the fact that I was a lesbian. Bravery was not something I thought I was capable of. To be a lesbian in the 90's you have to have bravery. So I convinced my twelve year old self that if I couldn't find a way to like boys I would be alone my whole life, and I was fine with that. I couldn't even fathom the idea of one day being out and happy.

As I got older it seemed that being gay was becoming more acceptable. There are still steps that need to be made in the acceptance of the LGBT community, but we have come a long way as a society. Today my heart is filled with pride for who I am. Every flaw I have ever seen in myself is a part of me whether I like it or not.

Now I understand that some people are in situations that are not ideal for coming out. Maybe you’re under age and your parents are homophobic. Remember that coming out is not required; this is for you and you alone. My suggestion is waiting until you are in a stable situation to support yourself before coming out. It does get better and it does get easier.

Everyone wants to be accepted in society, but the truth is it’s impossible to be accepted by everyone. Someone is going to dislike you and there isn't a single thing to be done about this. Dwelling on something that is out of your control is going to make you miserable. Everyday be true to yourself, this is the only real way to be happy. Know that being gay is not a disease. You are a human and have every right to be here and love anyone and everyone. Coming out as gay is not an ending, but rather the beginning of the rest of your life.

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