Coming out of your closet can be funny or shocking; spontaneous or pre-planned; loud or quiet; it can be a big event or just an everyday thing. You might be still waiting for your first ever coming out to happen or you might already have lots of stories to tell. But what is certain is that we are all bound to keep on facing situations when we need to make a decision whether to do it or not. Whether, for example, to correct the automatic heteronormative assumption of that neighbor, that acquaintance, that passerby, that boss, etc. that the person you spent the weekend with was not your boyfriend.

In short, coming out is a topic that is never outdated, effectively for anyone. Especially now it is a trending topic, given that it is Outober. In this spirit, we decided that instead of the usual interview, this month we would dedicate this article to coming out. Here is a compilation of some inspirational coming out stories from a handful of exceptional -- or actually utterly everyday -- women from all around the globe.

 

Natalie, England

“When I was about eight years old, my Mum had a friend called Linda, and my friend and I thought she was a lesbian. We used to call her Linda Lemon.

When I finally came out to myself, I told my mum I thought I was a lemon. She had no idea and asked again what I meant by this. I told her once again that I thought I was a lemon. Eventually my mum understood and told me she would love me if I was a lemon, an orange or an apple.”

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Henrie, Nigeria

“I was 13, living in Ikoyi (Lagos), Nigeria. My family just moved to a new neighbourhood and I remember coming home for a visit from boarding school and meeting this girl who soon became my best friend. We spent a lot of time together and hung out a lot together. One day I said to her "I have something to tell you” but first I had to go and drop off something at a friend's place. She said ‘Then I'm coming with you.’

When we got to the friend's place, he left us in his flat and stepped out to buy us some drinks. As soon as he left the room, everything happened in a split second: me sitting on the sofa, my best friend's lips all over mine, her grabbing my hands and using them to squeeze every part of her body … and when we heard the keys trying to unlock the door, she jumping off me. I just was sitting there speechless with my mouth still open.

To cut the long story short, my confession that I liked girls turned out to be pretty unconventional this time. It was a coming out but not through words.”

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Elena, Macedonia

“I must say I used to live a pretty closed life and didn't know anyone being with a different sexual orientation in my environment. I took a time to explore my sexuality and identity. I didn't have anyone to talk to. It was hard for me, a lot of depression and solitude.

Two points in my life changed me a lot: the sudden death of my father and the period living abroad. Those two life events made me more open, understanding that my life is one and only, and that I should live more openly and not be afraid to talk about myself. I started joining lesbian events, going to LGBTQ+ clubs abroad, worked on myself, empowered myself.

After many years, recently I started to feel I do not have a reason to ‘get out of the closet’ anymore. I mean I started to live as if everybody knew that I am a lesbian. I relieved myself from the pressure that I should tell everyone about myself and then to justify myself. Generally I don't care what people think, but whenever I feel the urge, I stand as a lesbian* to fight for visibility or whatever needed.”

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Ásta, Iceland

“I was 25 when I came out to myself. Until then I just thought I was an unfortunate and misunderstood straight woman. I had never been in a relationship (and never had good sex) and I thought I would probably be best off alone. Then one night I went to a party and later out to a bar, and at some point during the night I realized that I was feeling very weird about one of the girls who was there. It was like somebody just switched on the lights and it came to me: ‘Okay, so I'm a lesbian!’ I dragged another friend to the bathroom and told her, and she was really happy and excited for me, and I decided that if I still felt this way when I had sobered up the next day, then this was probably happening. A few weeks later I started telling my family and friends about this new revelation. Nothing ever happened between me and the girl though, and she still does not know that she changed my life. I have so much to thank her for.

Coming out to my family was a bit stressful, even though I had nothing to worry about. It's just always hard to tell them something like this. You are afraid that they will misunderstand you and not be fully supportive and so on. And sometimes they are not, but often they just need time to process things.

Back then I lived with my grandma and my aunt on a farm in the North of Iceland, and I chose to tell them a couple of minutes before my friend came to pick me up. ‘Eeeerrrmmm... I have to tell you something. I'm a lesbian. OK, she's here, I need to go. Bye!’ My aunt never said anything but she has always been nice and fully supportive. My grandma was also silent, but later that night I dared to ask her what she thought of what I'd told her. ‘Oh honey’, she said, ‘this could have been so much worse. You could have been taking drugs!’ She meant this in the best possible way, and this is one of my sweetest memories of her. She was a little bit worried about my future, I think, but then she saw that I was happier and felt better than before, and she was happy for me."

Click here for the full interview.

 

If you feel like sharing your own story, we’d love to hear from you at qlit@qlit.hu. For more info click here.

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