Curtusy of Creative Commons
The first time I came out was less a coming out and more so a falling out on my butt. As a child, other than seeing my parents’ friends Josh and Kevin, who I was told were “very close companions,” I had never seen a member of the LGBTQ community in my life.
My close friend Greer had been talking up Pretty Little Liars, so of course, I had to watch it for the drama and teen angst. That was when I was introduced to Emily Fields. Emily was one of the main characters on the show who happened to go through her own coming out process. I was absolutely shocked. I had never in my life seen someone go through what Emily did.
Fast forward two years, and with the surge of hormones associated with adolescence, I found myself thinking about Emily more and more. I was realizing that while I definitely liked guys, I also definitely liked girls.
Realizing that you aren’t straight is a hard concept to grapple with, and while I knew that I definitely wasn’t, I had no idea how to tell the people I loved. One day, early in 8th grade, Greer and I went to a baseball game with our parents. We were still very close, and talked about Pretty Little Liars together. While we were watching the Nationals get absolutely smeared by the opposing team, I asked her to go get ice cream with me. We got up and walked towards the little stand for overpriced frozen sweets. I braced myself, silently whispering a prayer to the gay gods and blurted out, “I think I’m like Emily.”
Greer looked at me blankly for a second, and then she said, “Stuck in a teen drama?”
I shook my head, afraid of what she would say if I actually uttered the words “I’m bisexual.” All of a sudden, she looked at me, raised both of her eyebrows, and said “Ohh.”
I smiled half-heartedly and she grinned.
Since then, I have come out to a lot of people. It has been a little different every time, and every time there is always the fear I had when I told Greer that first time, fear that I will not be accepted, or that I will be seen in a different, negative light. While that fear is completely valid, in our Wilson community I have found that people are accepting more often than not. So to anyone out there who is struggling with coming to terms with their sexuality, know that you are loved and will find your place.