My Coming Out Story & How it Made Me Stronger

Everyone has a beautiful coming out story, this is mine.

I came out in my mid-twenties. I was a fresh New Yorker, and looking back now, I was completely lost. There was a pixie cut, an idiosyncratic sense of style, oh, and I identified as straight.

I was in and out of relationships with men. It was rough. There was always something missing and I kept saying, no it's just the men. There's nothing wrong with me. I'm just dating the wrong guys. Little did I know, I was barking up the wrong tree.

I was attracted to women my entire life, but I didn't think it was anything more. I was like, "Oh, she's like, really beautiful." Never went beyond that initial thought. It wasn't until my best friend, Bethany, (who is also gay) text me one night and said, "lets go to a lesbian bar!" At first, I was a bit apprehensive. New territory...lifestyle...breaking my comfort zone? But I said, "Yes!" Also, my best friend doesn't accept no for an answer (did I have a choice?) When I went, I felt...comfortable. The surroundings fascinated me. For the first time, I felt accepted in a bar and I was eager to talk to the women.

That was my first experience. It wasn't long until I began to frequent lesbian bars every week. I felt so comfortable talking to women and it unleashed my attraction and encouragement to pursue them.

When I first kissed a female. It was determined. I was gay. For the first time ever, it FINALLY felt right. I was meant to be with a female. I was meant to build a life with a female. I was meant to be an advocate for the lesbian community.

I guess you can say I lived my best gay life soon there after. It was exciting because it was just like starting all over again. I struggled dating men for years, always felt nervous to go on a date, and always felt uncomfortable on them. It was weird and I guess I thought I was shy? When I dated women, I was incredibly elated. I got the good butterflies and the best feels. I was so happy I came out when I did. I think it was an easier transition for me, because I knew I was in the right place based on my past experiences.

Coming out to my parents was uplifting and discouraging. I came out to my siblings first, our generation is more understanding and accepting.

As for my father, he guessed it! I didn't bring home a guy in over five years. One day we went for a run in the hot South Carolina sun and he asked me if I still liked men? (I think he meant jokingly, but also was slightly curious.) I busted into tears, screaming, "I don't know!" We then stopped running and he gave me the biggest hug. My dad is a doctor and by far, the most nonjudgemental person I have ever known. He said, "It's OK, science has proven that we cannot fight who we are attracted to. There has been countless tests and there is nothing wrong with you and who you choose to be attracted to."

My dad is a very smart man. He speaks when it's necessary, and he's always to the point. What he said when I came out is by far the best response I needed to hear. All I needed was the simple recognition of understanding, and I got it.

My mother was the last person I came out to. She's very warm and loving, and grew up in a old-school, Ukrainian household. She was raised to ONLY date Ukrainian men and english was not allowed in the home. It was difficult to figure out when was the right time to say it. I was at home visiting her, and I still couldn't say it. When I was back in NYC I decided, it was time. I called her and told her I've been dating women. I know she was shocked, but she handled it well. I made me feel SO GOOD. We ended our conversation with her saying, "Whatever will be will be." Her acceptance has grown stronger over the years, and I'm so proud of her. 

I met my current life partner, Victoria, at a gay and lesbian bar in NYC called the Cubbyhole. It's a small, eclectic spot that my friends and I frequent on random nights. Never was a place for me to meet women. However, Bethany (the one who doesn't accept no for an answer, or I'm very persuaded lol) convinced me to come out for a drink one Saturday night. There, I met someone. She was literally a breath of fresh air. I never met anyone like her. Her energy, light, and personality was engaging and I immediately fell. HARD. A person was made for me. She completes me. 

I enjoy hearing everyone's coming out story. It's inspiring and provides a glimpse into someones life and character. You learn so much from someone's story and I hope mine was helpful for women out there. It took courage and strength, but I was able to remove the guard. Allow myself to explore and experience life from a different lens. Everyday I remind myself that no matter what I'm living my life to the fullest. If I was still the same girl five years ago, I may not know where I'd be. I know I would not be writing this post, nor managing a blog at all! Coming out was the initial step into my beautiful and grateful life. I grew stronger, which empowered a voice, thus my blog and confidence was manifested! 

If there was one thing you can take away from this piece, is to let go of your guard and live. Live for experiences, learnings, and fascinating people that cross your path. You'll amaze yourself. 

If you want to learn more, get involved, or seeking support. Please contact the below organizations:

http://www.nclrights.org/

https://gaycenter.org/contactus