I recently asked my followers if any of them had regrets after coming out. Since I received so many great and thought-provoking responses, I decided to turn them into a blog post. I also mentioned that I was posing the question from a long-term perspective. Sure, there is always going to be some drama or regret after initially coming out, but I was really wondering if anyone regretted it years later.
A common – and heartbreaking – theme was that some people regret coming out because they have been disowned by their families or social groups. I honestly take for granted that this was not the case for my own coming out, and that it is more common than I think. Someone wrote that they miss the holidays with family and not being able to build more family memories since coming out. Some younger followers were thrown out of their house after coming out, losing contact with not only their family but also their friends due to distance. One follower came out later in life, and mentions that he is often accused by his family of faking it or being selfish by not just keeping it to himself. One follower wrote of losing her children and her church after coming out, I assume having been in a heterosexual relationship prior.
Despite these sad experiences, it seemed that many people were still happy with their decision to come out. It seems that the idea of being true to yourself in the long-term outweighs the close-minded people in your circle. One comment that really resonated me was the fact that it’s not just coming out the one time, it’s needing to come out again and again throughout your life. You have to tell your friends, your family, social acquaintances, neighbors, coworkers. When does it end? Of course, you can not say anything at all because at the end of the day it’s your own business, but for some reason people don’t always respect that either. If you’re single, the question always seems to be lurking.
My personal issue with coming out (over and over) is that people think you’re lying or hiding something about yourself if you don’t mention it. I find myself wanting to just bring it up and get it out of the way when I meet someone new. And in a way its freeing, but it also should not be my burden. At the same time, I understand that the people around you may not want to offend you or assume something about your sexuality because of your appearance or viewpoints (or any other gay stereotypes). In other words, it’s often more comfortable for yourself and others if you just bring it up and get it out of the way.
At any rate, I hope that even for the followers who have had a tough coming out journey, you all get to a point where you are happier having done it. No matter how great (or bad) your experience was, we live in a world that does not always make us feel accepted. Through conversations like these, at least we can bond over some of these heartbreaks and even annoyances that we all have to deal with.