by Bo Sellers
Realizing I was a lesbian a short six months ago, I’m still dealing with the repercussions of coming out. Technically, I was never closeted because as soon as I realized I was gay, I felt a weight off my shoulders and was overwhelmed with joy, so I began telling my closest friends and family members. About two months ago I came out publicly on Instagram. Granted it’s not the most traditional approach to updating people of your sexuality, but judging from the various conversations I've had with friends and family over the last few months, there really is no right way or right time...
I’ve always done things the best way I know how, which is through humor. I’ve laughed with a lot of people about my revelation, making jokes to enable a certain level of comfort for everyone privy to my newfound sense of self. But the truth is, it’s not a joke and I refuse to laugh at it any longer.
When I first came out, I told people I was “bi but preferred women.” I’ve realized now it was a safety-net I allowed myself. Still coming to terms with my own preferences, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was feeling, but since most people need a label to understand something, I gave them one.
It’s been extremely difficult to handle everyone’s reactions. I’m crying about it much more than I ever imagined, but coming from super conservative southern foots, with multiple pastors in my family, it’s definitely going to be an uphill battle. It hurts to hear my love referred to as a “sin” or a “phase.” I’m also learning that people are discussing it behind my back, which is interesting as no one will bring it up in conversation with me unless I do. I never thought I would hear my own sister say “I don’t know if I’d ever come to your wedding. I can’t condone it” has been one of the biggest smacks in the face.
This wasn’t the topic I planned on discussing for my first article on “All Things Lesbian,” but it’s important to me, and if it helps even one other person feel less alone with their own struggle, than I’ve accomplished my goal.
I can’t broach this topic without also mentioning the extreme support I’m receiving from old and new friends I never expected to be there for me. I’m choosing to focus on the positive people in my life and remind myself how blessed I am for them.
Although we may feel like it at times, we aren't alone in this world. We are all highly connected and need to continue to love and support one another. Fear and hate are no matches for love. By loving everyone, even in my darkest moments, I hope to prove life is worth living and all what we choose it to be.
Choose happiness. Choose love.