Well, everyone seems to be posting their coming out stories on here, so I figured I might as well too.
A warning though; this post is ridiculously long and full of waffle, as all of you can no doubt see.
I first tried to come out to my parents when I was 13. My mum and I were in the car and everything went silent. I'd been planning to say something for a while, but whenever I tried to all I could do was walk back to my room. This time that obviously wasn't possible. So I told her that I thought I was gay and she kept asking me if I was sure and questioned whether I could be sure at 13. In retrospect, I doubt I was definitely certain, but I was pretty sure by that stage.
A couple of days later I told her that I was pretty sure about it, but the same thing happened.
So I left it and it was never spoken of again until 3 years later, when I went to see Brokeback Mountain. I began to realise that, if I kept it all in like the main characters in the movie, I really would not be happy. So when I got home I sat in my room knowing I had to come out. It was a terrible feeling, and I cried a bit. Then dinner time came and I sat down and ate a few bits of pasta, then went back to my room leaving the rest of my meal. After my brothers were finished I went back out to the dining room and said to her "Remember that conversation we had in the car that time? Well, it's true." Then she asked me if I was sure, and I told her that I was. Then I broke down and kept telling her that I’d never have a future and be able to live with dignity (obviously that attitude has since changed). That was Saturday, 13th February, 2006 at roughly 6:15 p.m..
Then at the beginning of Term 2 (Monday, 1st May 2006) I came out to friends at school. I’d just had two weeks of holidays and, for the most part, coming out was all that was on my mind. I was on the ferry on the way to school and I was really nervous. I thought I might delay it again. Then I got to school and my friends were in a circle chatting. I walked away after a short while though. It was still on my mind. I kept circling around the schoolyard pretty quickly. And then one of my friends came and asked me what's wrong and, after a fairly long pause, I basically said "I'm gay". Then I told him to go and get another person from the group. I told her and she gave me a big hug.
About 2 minutes later classes began. It was English. I sat down, got out my books, and started to read over the poetry we were doing to try and take my mind off things. I didn't really have any close friends in that class. For some reason I really had this compulsion to get up out the front of the class and just shout it out, but I didn't (thank God!). And so then I ran out of the class and went to the boys toilets - I sat there and cried a little bit. Later someone told me I looked like I was about to faint. I was so nervous I felt like I was going to throw up. I tried to throw up, but it didn't happen, so I went back to class. As I was going back, some of the idiots kept asking me what was wrong. I ignored them and went back to class. This process of running out of the class was repeated twice. Once I’d arrived back the third time, the girl sitting in front of me started asking me what was wrong and I told her. I hardly even knew her, but I had to get it out of my system, or so to speak. The person sitting next to her overheard and the expression on her face was pretty funny. Telling someone got me through until the end of the lesson though. It actually turned out that everyone in my class thought I had gone to get the teacher, who was late and turned up right before the class ended. The bell went soon after, and I went off to roll call. I did not say a word there.
Then I went straight to the Student Office and asked if I could speak to the counsellor. The response was "He's not in today, but we can contact Sister Anne to talk to you." And so then I went to her office and she kept asking me what was wrong. Obviously I was a little concerned about telling a Catholic nun, of all people. After some hesitation, I told her and she took it quite well. This is where my memory lags a bit, but I remember her giving me numbers and addresses to contact in Newcastle – I didn’t end up doing this until February the next year, days before I moved to Canberra. The only problem was when she assumed that I was religious and started going on about how God loves everybody, but that I shouldn’t question Vatican doctrine or join so called “radicals”. It turned out that she knew of other gay people who had gone to my school, but it seemed like being gay was all very kept in and didn’t leave the counsellors’ offices. There were 500 people in my Year 12 class, so there must have been a fair few others out there too.
Soon after that, I called my mum at work and told her what happened that morning. I distinctly remember saying to her something like “I think you know what this is about” and she replied “yes”. After that the people in charge at school asked if I wanted to go home and I told them I did. They apparently rang my mum at work and told them I was going home, but I soon changed my mind and stayed. This message didn’t get through though so what happened was that Mum got home and realised I wasn’t there. She must have thought I’d run away or done something drastic.
So I stuck it out at school for a while, first sitting around the school office reflecting on what had just happened, then going to class. It got better as the day went on. School ended at 4:30 p.m. and I went off to my flute lesson. After that I can remember walking across a pedestrian railway overpass ready to get the 6 p.m. ferry from Newcastle and for the first time that day I felt happy about myself, as though things were looking up. The sun was setting. I looked over the harbour and the beach and knew that I reached a new stage in life and that I’d definitely done the right thing that day by coming out.
When Mum came to pick me up from the ferry wharf, we had a bit of a chat on the way home. This was when I found out that Dad knew. He was away, and I told Mum not to tell him, but it turned out she did. I asked her if he knew, and she said that he did and that, even though he might appear to be a little cold and unemotional at times, there was no problem in his mind. This was later confirmed by a text message he sent to her phone, which we all used when he was away. It said something like "Tell Nat that I have no problem with it and that I'm not ashamed of him. I am supportive."
So that’s my coming out experience.