A few weeks ago, we invited Vancity Buzz readers who identify as LGBT to submit their own ‘coming out’ stories as a way of empowering and inspiring others who may be struggling with their own sexuality.
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Robyn is the sixth of our reader-submitted coming out stories during Vancouver Pride Week 2014.
Occupation: UBC student
I thought I had my first doubts about my sexuality in grade 11 when I realized that I liked my best friend… a little bit too much.
But looking through a diary I kept years before that even happened, I found what seemed to be a warning from myself that I might not be completely straight. Although I had reassured my future self that it wouldn’t matter, I was still terrified to come out to anyone until my first year at UBC.
After that, I decided to tell my friends one at a time, each time becoming easier and more natural than the last. My friends have all been completely supportive and I am endlessly thankful for that.
Coming out to my parents is a different story. Cultural barriers meant that I couldn’t tell anyone else in my family (although the younger generation all found out via Facebook anyway).
I was told that I would have to act against what I felt for the sake of my family’s reputation. I felt rejected by my parents and ashamed to be who I am. Almost as if I had some rare incurable disease. It was a devastating contrast to my friends’ reactions when I came out to them, and I wasn’t ready for it.
I wish I could say that I’ve matured into a state of blissful acceptance, but today, about a year and a half after confronting my parents, I still have a long way to go. But I’m glad to say that I’m able to find solace in my friends, my sister, and (thankfully) UBC’s inclusive environment. As for my family, it’s just a waiting game until our emotions simmer down.