Coming out- An integrated media final

So many people(including myself) have had to “come out” to everyone they love because it’s the norm for everyone to automatically just assume you’re straight. The questions I asked in the interviews are questions I asked myself after coming out and before coming out. I was incredibly scared to come out to my family because my dad is homophobic and my mom is religious. Afterwards I immediately regretted coming out and sometimes still wish I never had just because of the negative reaction I received from my parents. However, every time I came out to a friend I always got a positive reception and I love coming out to new people I meet. It’s such an integral part of who I am and I love telling people about that part of me. So then I felt that the questions I ask myself I should ask other members of the LGBT community. These are three members of the LGBT community that I have had the pleasure to interview about their “coming out stories” or lack thereof.

The first person I interviewed is my friend and RA, Zo. He identifies as a straight trans male. For the full interview refer back to J’s Jams podcast.

Were you scared to come out to your family? If so then who in particular?
Zo: “Actually I was very scared…I was scared coming out to all of them. I didn’t have to come out to my dad’s side of the family but like my stepdad, my mom, my brothers..Eventually I did and it took some years.. It was either fifth or sixth grade I came out to my brother as a lesbian. I officially came out to my school as a lesbian in seventh grade. Then I came out to my family as non-binary in tenth grade, then came out as trans in 12th grade.. When I came out as trans I had never seen my brother cry like he did so that was scary. My mom is still not very happy about it but it’s still scary when I have to be like..hey, they kinda just sweep it under the rug.”
Are you happy that you came out or do you regret it?
Zo: “ That is a really good question.. “I’m happy I eventually came out to myself, I was struggling with that and sometimes when I come back to college from my family and I’m like did I make the right decision? Is this really who I am? Because they kinda ingrain it in your head so much that this isn’t who you are and like stop pretending you’re someone you’re not. And so you start thinking, is this really who I am? Like did I make the right decision for myself? But I’m happy I came out to myself. I’m happy I came out to my friends, I have supporting friends who are pretty cool with me and I have a wonderful girlfriend who is also very supportive of me. But my family I wish I had.. I regret that I do not um.. I don’t regret.. But i’m not happy with myself that I don’t constantly come out to them because you do have to come out to people on a daily basis. I’m not on testosterone or anything so I don’t pass as well as most people. But coming out to my family I do wish I’d say it more often like this is who I am.”

The next person I interviewed is my friend and teammate Gina who identifies as a lesbian woman. For the full interview refer back to the J’s Jams podcast.

Would you say it was easier to come out to your family or your friends?
Gina: “ It was definitely much easier to come out to my friends then my family. Actually my best friend since fifth grade, we came out together to each other. We were playing Pokemon Go at the pier from Rochester where I live at 2am and he’s like “I have to tell you something” and I was like What’s up? He just told me “I’m gay” and I was like oh cool! I’m gay too! Then we sat there for a good three hours just talking about feelings and how we are gonna tell our parents and everything. So yeah it was easier to come out to my friend than my parents.”
The third and final person I interviewed was my good friend Alaces who identifies as a bisexual woman. For the full interview refer back to J’s Jams podcast.

Were you scared to come out to your family? If so then who in particular?
Alaces: “Well actually I’ve never came out to my family before. I’ve come out to my friends but never my family.”
Oh! Were you scared to come out to your friends then?
Alaces: “ I feel like I wasn’t scared to come out to my friends probably cause we all are like I guess the same generation. These ideas are easier to accept with my friend group. My main group of friends at the time were my group of guy friends from middle school. Which were all guys, me, and another girl. After I came out to them it was just like “oh she’s one of the guys I guess. She can also look at girls and think oh they’re cute too!” And I was like “I guess”. Then they came to me more for their girl problems like they didn’t care.”
Why would you say that you haven’t came out to your family?
Alaces: “ I feel like my family is from a different world than I am. For one thing my mom is an immigrant, she’s from the Philippines. In Filipino culture it’s not that its discriminatory against gays but I feel like it’s not a common thing for them to see. I see gay characters, my mom has a gay best friend. It’s like why should I be scared of coming out to that? But the idea, I don’t think she wants it to hit close to home I guess. Like why’s it gotta be my daughter? Like not like she would be mad about it but like why my daughter? Like why not someone else. And my stepdad, VERY christian background which scares the crap out of me. So I feel like I’ve talked about a lot of stuff with my stepdad before. I don’t know why it feels like it’s hard to come out to them. But I can already feel like the cross being shoved down my throat.”

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