Wow. I never thought I would write this, but I guess there is no time like the present.
Here it goes…my name is Hannah and I am gay.
If you are my immediate family or friend you know this already so it isn’t a surprise, but to some people it may be.
I came to terms with being gay at the age of nineteen (2016) and started coming out to people about a month after accepting the fact that I would not have the future I was raised to believe I would have.
It all started on April 5, 2016, well I suppose it really started when I was born, but this is the date I realized I wasn’t straight. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in my shower and I was thinking about this scene in a show that I was watching. It was a scene of two women who were in love. All of a sudden it clicked inside my brain and I burst out crying. I had to sit down in the shower to catch my breath because I was terrified about what my future would look like.
As I was sitting on my shower floor sobbing I was wondering why I was such a hypocrite. All my life I had fiercely defended gay people. I always encouraged those who confided in me to come out and to be proud of who they were, so how come when I was faced with the same thing I felt like there was absolutely no way I could come clean about who I was and how I love?
A lot of things from my life up until that point were starting to make a lot of sense like why I could find any reason a boy wasn’t a good fit for me, why I got jealous of certain female friends talking to boys, and why kissing boys made me physically ill (funny that I told myself this was normal). At the same time, a lot of things started to make no sense at all and I began to have internalized homophobia.
Every negative thing I had ever heard about gay people started to fill my mind. I began to try to convince myself that I was wrong about my assumption of being gay. I mean how could I be gay when I look so straight? I soon realized that “gay” does not have a look.
Some people try to pray the gay away but I turned to google. I googled every scenario I could to possibly explain why I was feeling the way I was. For a solid week or so I had convinced myself that I was only gay because I was on birth control (shocker, but I am not on the pill anymore and I still am gay). I found things about lengths of fingers, fingernails, hairstyles, clothes, walking style, and sound of your voice that were supposed to tell me if I was truly gay. Most of the time the test results came back as “gay” so I would try to find another test that would have a different answer for me.
I also felt confused because how could I have thought guys were cute, good looking, maybe even hot? Well here is the thing I do have two working eyes and I can recognize a good looking person, but at the time I was confusing attractiveness of a person with me being physically attracted to them.
When I was figuring this out for about a month before telling anyone it felt like a lifetime. All I was thinking about was being gay and everywhere I went I thought people could just see it on my face and they knew. I felt like I was lying about who I was and I needed to come clean.
The funny thing is I really wondered how I didn’t figure it out sooner, but at the same time I felt like I wasn’t exactly sure I was gay. I started coming out to my friends and every single one after I said “I have to tell you something” knew I was gay. This scared me (who else knows????!!!!) but also made me feel so much better because they knew this and were all just like “Yeah, duh!”
I am lucky because I have family and friends who support me for who I am and my decision to not make this public knowledge until I was ready. Part of me thought I would never come out publicly until I was dating someone so I would just post a picture of us and say this is who I am dating. I felt this way because if I liked boys I wouldn’t have to say “Hi, my name is Hannah and I am straight.” I have never liked the idea of coming out, but at the same time if I can help even one person with my story that will make me happy.
If there is one thing I have learned in the year 2020 it is that things are going to happen that you are not expecting and you may as well live your life in your most authentic way possible. That is why I am coming out to the world on National Coming Out Day 2020.
I am here and I am queer, but that is not the only thing I am.
I am Hannah; I am 24 years old; I love kids, animals, nature, plant-based food, and traveling. I find great enjoyment in writing and reading. I love to learn. My favorite color at the moment is blue. I am a virgo. I have many parts of who I am and what I like and one of those is that I am gay.
Being gay is a part of who I am but it is not who I am.
If you are someone who is struggling with your sexual identity and want to talk to someone you can reach out to me!
I know not everyone in this world will like this fact about me, but I can not stand the thought of living a day longer having people like “me” when they don’t even know the whole me.
I am here to live as my true self and to help people in any way that I can.
Here is to being honest about all the parts of you that make you you!
Until next time,