LGBT History Month: Coming out in my 20's

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People holding hands, text reads "Coming out in my 20's, LGBT History Month"

WELCOME TO LGBT HISTORY MONTH! 

This article, the last in our series this month, is an anonymous contribution from a Heriot-Watt student! Check out our resources page, test your knowledge every Friday with our insta story quizzes and have a read of our Watchlist, too!

Coming out in my 20's

I always pictured coming out as something you experienced in high school, maybe due to every Netflix original or soap storyline following the same story – the flamboyant gay guy being bullied by his peers, a tomboy girl who just wanted to be accepted, the head cheerleader falling in love with her best friend, I’m sure you get the idea. For me, sexuality was a topic I never wanted to touch, I always felt embarrassed and pressured to answer what I was, when really, I had no idea who I was or who I was supposed to be in high school.  

I came out as bisexual at 22 years old to my extremely loving and understanding boyfriend. At first, I still wasn’t ready to put a label on myself – I shied away from the term bisexual, replacing it with long sentences on loving everyone but also solely loving him. I spent hours googling “can you be bi if you’re in a hetero relationship?”, I laugh now but at the time, I felt so guilty for feeling this way.  

Years of oppressing these feelings led me to question myself entirely, I felt as if I could never be happy, truly, within myself and I expected everyone to react to the word bisexual coming out of my mouth with aggression, shock and shame. I am eternally grateful to those in my life who taught me that sexuality isn’t something to be ashamed of; my boyfriend made me feel safe to even deliberate the idea of liking women, somehow creating the safe space in my brain that I had struggled to create for myself for years. My friends, LGBT or not, accepted me and my own confusion towards sexuality, never putting words in my mouth or making me feel like I had to justify why I feel how I do. 

I wouldn’t say that coming out has completely changed my life, but I definitely feel that coming out when I was ready to and in the way I wanted to, has led to me being more open with my emotions now. I feel we often forget that while sexuality isn’t the sole making of a person, it allows us to become more open with ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings and our own happiness.  

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