I’m going to be sharing my coming out story in a few days with a group of LGBT youth, so I thought it’s as good a time as any to share it here.
By the time I was 21, I was married with 2 kids. Aside from being young, which of course I thought I wasn’t, I was living the dream. Nice house, a husband, a son, a daughter, a dog and a cat. I was working at a job I enjoyed with people I liked. When my kids were 5 and 3, I found myself falling for a good friend of mine, who also felt the same. Up until this point, I had no clue that I was gay, I had just turned 25, and suddenly I’m realizing that I am gay. (Looking back, I can see so many signs, but at the time I just assumed everyone thought and felt like I did about women!) I immediately ended my marriage and told my parents about my self discovery. They didn’t seem shocked, they also weren’t overly supportive, but handled it in a “don’t ask don’t tell” type manner.
A year after I came out I fell into a depression, partially because I was dealing with issues from my childhood and partially I believe, because I was living a very closeted gay life. I started seeing a therapist, which helped, but I still felt like something was missing.
The day after my 26th birthday I decided that religion was the thing that was missing from my life…
I started going to church and it felt wonderful. I found a sense of belonging there that I had never before felt. That place became my solace, those people became my family.
About 6 months after going to church, I met some people who attended another church, one of whom worked with my mother. I knew this woman had heard that I was gay and by this point I had come to understand how the church felt about homosexuality. This woman offered me a way to get “healing” from this “issue” that I had. Being gay had started to feel like it was causing more harm than good in my life so I went for it!
The night of my deliverance, where I was going to be “healed” from homosexuality, I honestly don’t remember what I was feeling. Hopefulness perhaps? I do know that when I left and returned home, I believed 100% that I had in fact been healed, and I was no longer gay.
Over the next few years I was busy being a single mom, homeschooling my two kids, getting heavily involved in church and more or less happily living life. But eventually I started to realize that my kids were one day going to be gone from home and I might want to be with someone rather than live out the rest of my life alone. The thought of having more kids also intrigued me, so I decided to start dating men again.
When I was 33 I met a man who was a good fit for what I thought I was looking for. At this point I still had total faith in the fact that I had been “healed” and that I was no longer gay. I got remarried and in 3 years had 3 more kids. Another year later I had a miscarriage which I believe was a catalyst in my finally choosing to live an authentic life.
The summer that I turned 38 life was again starting to unravel. My then 16 year old daughter and I came out to each other. We had numerous conversations leading up to this, so neither one of us was overly shocked by the other one’s revelation.
A year later my second marriage was over, I was once again facing life as a single parent but this time choosing to live an openly authentic life.
So here I am, 40 years old, 15 years after coming out, finally living, loving and being true to myself.