I wish I had a more interesting story to share about coming out, so bear with me if this seems a bit boring. I think I was either 20 or 21 when I told my first friend. It was a big group of us in a bar and, of course, we’d all been drinking. I sat down at a table with my best friend’s brother (I’ve known him for 15 years, so he’s like my brother too) and remember just feeling confident in the moment. I started the conversation by saying I’ve had a secret that I wanted to tell him, but he would have to guess what it was. His replied with “What, you’re gay?” I nodded my head and confirmed.
I’d follow through by coming out to each of my friends and immediate family in a very similar manner, always avoiding saying the words myself and always with a little liquid courage. I’m blessed to say that every single person has been nothing but positive and encouraging through these last few years. Before coming out, I never worried about people turning me away. I can’t really put words to my apprehension, but I guess I was just nervous about the overall change in people’s perception of me, good or bad. That change, though, ended up being very good. You immediately lose that nervousness around people. To put it simply, you just start feeling very comfortable in your own skin.
I prefaced this excerpt with the idea that my story wasn’t very interesting. In a way, I think that’s a really good thing. It means we’re moving to a time where your sexuality doesn’t have to be shocking news to those around you. If there is one piece of advice I’d give someone planning to come out, it would be to approach the conversation in a positive manner. You’re not coming clean from a dirty secret, you’re sharing a wonderful part of who you are and who you love.