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Issue 17 Out Now

I Wish I never Came Out

Since the fateful summer in 2014 that I realized I was gay, there has always been an insurmountable amount of fear around coming out. Fear of not being accepted, homelessness, and never living how I want.

In my younger years, I clung to YouTubers to divert myself from the destructive environment I grew up in. Gleaming into their seemingly perfect lives, craving the same kind of happiness they presented to their fans. Persistently, searching for what was lacking in my life by watching video after video ultimately distorting my reality.

I never grew up around other gay black people and have never heard the people charged with my care talk of gay people in any tender manner. My reality of what it meant to be gay became what I watched on YouTube, mimicking their personalities to make friends and yearning to experience acceptance and love that came from coming out. Unfortunately, at the time I couldn’t see the difference between myself and a white gay YouTuber.

Watching their stories with their parents gave me a bit of hope. I craved to be like them assured that somehow my family wouldn't discard me. Ultimately, I was wrong my parents did not accept me.

Years later my sexuality is unacknowledged, and I’m often told, “you don’t have to be gay and feminine”. I have never once regretted my decision, no matter how poorly influenced it was. Coming out has taken me through a mental health, sexuality, gender, and spiritual journey.

Throughout high school and even in elementary school, I experienced trauma daily. I experienced verbal, physical, and mental abuse. I grew up in a toxic and hostile environment. Coming out only worsened my life.

Coming out burned the hope I had of having a relationship with my family, once complicated, now reduced to cinders. I held an illusion in my mind that my family would accept me. My current reality is a family I don’t speak with anymore.

After I came out, the trauma that I experienced from my parents affected my mental health. I lived in a bleak world and often felt like nothing mattered. The rejection I faced from my parents made me feel empty inside, leading me to believe that I had no worth in life and wouldn’t live past the age of 18.

I’m grateful for the revelations the experience gave, yet I don’t believe it’s a necessary experience. I originally wanted to come out due to believing that my identity and worth revolved around my family. I felt as if I needed them to confirm me as a person when I previously felt like nothing.

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