My Life Would Have Been Completely Different Had I Come Out Earlier
For the last few years of my life, I’ve felt anxious, stressed out and always one step behind.
I didn’t come out ’til I was around 22, but like other gays, I had a suspicious feeling I was into dick a lot earlier than I wanted to admit.
It’s not that I necessarily felt ashamed about it, though. To be honest, my innate desire to purchase Backstreet Boys’ Millennium album and curiosity to see what they looked like naked wasn’t necessarily a weird thing to me.
I grew up in a liberal household, exposed to pretty much anything and everything in the world, so nothing felt out of the norm.
Still, I typically kept those thoughts to myself.
Junior year of college was when I made a move, both literally and figuratively. After hooking up with a guy for the first time, my label officially changed from straight to “bisexual,” at least for the time being.
I’m not saying bisexuality doesn’t exist, but for me, it was just a stepping stone.
Two years later, I came out, and I was officially a flaming homosexual.
It felt good and it felt like a boulder had been removed from between my shoulders. But it also felt like I showed up for a final exam and completely forgot to study.
Coming out on your own time when you’re the most comfortable is something I did, and something I highly encourage.
The only thing I’ve come to realize over the past few years as I’ve embraced who I am is how different life would have been if I’d open the closet door so much earlier.
A few months ago, I met up with a new Tinder suitor who basically told me he’d outed himself around the age of 14.
Even during years when it may not have been socially acceptable to walking around holding hands with another dude, this guy was carefree and embracing who he was without giving any fucks.
I couldn’t help but envy him. Sure, two-thirds of my friends were female, I was a regular in musical theater and I watched so much “Charmed,” I convinced myself for a short time I was a witch.
But I was never out. I never expressed myself to an extent where I was actually being who I was.
Looking back, I’ve come to realize any internal struggle I felt may actually connect directly with my sexuality and the coming out process.
While I was happy with how my high school and college careers turned out, I’m curious as to how things would’ve went down had I represented myself differently and made other gay friends sooner.
At 22, the LGBT lifestyle hit me like a whirlwind and I was immersed into it at an age without much guidance.
If I had exposed myself to it much earlier on, chances are I’d have gotten a grasp on how to insert myself into the gay community, whether recreationally with clubs and other activities, or in the dating sphere by simply finding myself a goddamn boyfriend.
I was without a doubt a late bloomer, but I don’t like to disclose that. I don’t want my insecurities and lack of experience to be put under a microscope.
But if I’d accepted my sexuality at an earlier point, I would’ve had the opportunity to dabble in different things and find my tastes and preferences in men.
I missed my opportunity to fuck around and experiment with other kids who also had no idea what the fuck they were doing.
It’s clear that you won’t know what you like until you try it out, at least once. And it’s too bad that, for the most part, I’ve been trying most things out for the very first time.
I’ve been jumping into bed, hoping that I’d like what I was doing because I was too afraid to admit that I hadn’t done much in the past.
I’ve essentially been playing catch up, which isn’t the most exhilarating thing to do. Sometimes, it can be downright nerve wracking.
But, as much as I look back on the “what if” situations and how life would be drastically altered had I made this life-changing decision at at a different point, I resist feeling sorry or guilty of my choices.
I’m out now. While it may not have been done as early as I’d liked, what’s done is done. Life has continued to go on, and frankly, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now.
I need to continue living. I need to embrace where I’ve come from, how much I’ve accomplished in such a short time will being a full-fledged member of the gay community, and just continue to strive for bigger and greater things that have yet to be completed.
There’s not much point in looking back. I may not have come out until 22, but I was still gay then, and girl, you better believe I’m gay now.
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