Rumbling stomach, teary eyes, and thoughts of running into the middle of the highway. These were my lowest moments after I sat through a grueling, at-home conversion therapy session with my mother.
National Coming Out Day is today. When I think about coming out, I think about fear, strength, and probably the worst and best moments of my life.
I remember sitting in my high school cafeteria when my sister told me that my mom found my diaries and that she called her. I remember crying in the counselor’s office waiting for my mom, begging the counselor to “please don’t let her take me.” I remember seeing my mom with no makeup in public for the first time.
I remember the words of hate yelled at me from someone who was supposed to love me. I remember the tight grip she had on my wrist when she dragged me out of the school.
I remember the sermons that spewed out homophobia my mother made me watch. I remember the videos of testimonies of women to afraid to speak their truth, claiming that they changed and that I could to.
I remember the highlighted Bible quotes and the dry throat I got from reciting it aloud so many times. I remember the bruises on my knees from kneeling down in prayer for so long, my mother telling me exactly what to pray. Sorry God.
I remember the pain in my heart when lying in my bedroom thinking of ways to kill myself. I remember telling my mom it was a phase.
“Good,” she said.
I remember my confidence and self-esteem being sucked out of me the minute she closed my bedroom door. I remember the years of trying to change and fear of people finding out. I didn’t want to be gay anymore because that meant my mom will never love me.
I remember looking in the mirror and coming out to myself, and the wholeness I felt. I remember her, her beauty, her laugh, her smell. I remember a lot of girls. I remember my first kiss, my first date, my first girlfriend. I remember saying, “Fuck it,” and telling my older sister.
I remember the relief. I remember telling my friends, my younger siblings, my aunt, my cousin, my classmates, and my coworkers. I remember that feeling of freedom and all that emotional burden falling off my back. I finally felt like I was living.
I used to think the phrase, “things will get better,” was just something that people said but didn’t actually happen. Just some lame motivational quote. For me things got better, but some things still suck. I think I’m ok with that.
My coming out story is not over, in fact it feels like it just started. However, for once, I’m finally brave enough to say, “I’m so gay.”
Feature photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.