Coming out was not an easy process and never will be (and if it was for you, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.) I was in the closet for a significantly long time- ever since middle school, actually. As a few years passed, I started to realize I was one of the only girls out of my friends that was seeing women in the same light as men- I was not only attracted to them physically, but I could see myself in a relationship with them. Later in my high school career, I educated myself on feminism, gender and sexuality and finally decided once and for all that I felt most comfortable and identified as pan-sexual.
If you’re thinking about coming out during your time at UC like I did, consider the following if things don’t go as planned:
1) If your family members are not accepting, don’t panic.
After a long few days of crying and contemplating my next move, I realized that all I needed in my life was the support of my girlfriend, my roommate, and my friends. Even my RA and a few of my professors were quick to offer support and guidance through this peak of adversity.
2) Remember that college is YOUR time to find YOURSELF.
Going to college was my time to be myself and not conform to the opinions and beliefs of my parents and people only wanting me to keep their reputation afloat as the perfect, heterosexual dream daughter. I was an adult and I was going to keep living my life to keep myself happy.
3) Roommates or friends not accepting of your coming out?
No sweat. Confide in your RA or a trusted professor on campus so they can point you in the right direction towards a counselor about your situation. They can help you work on conflict resolution with your roommate or just where to find a new group of friends in an environment where you can be yourself. There are thousands of clubs and groups on campus looking for someone like you to join.
4) Keep a positive attitude and be confident in your decision to come out.
A year after coming out, my parents have come around for the most part. I didn’t hold a grudge over them, but held on to hope that one day they would get over their bias and hate and accept me for who I was. I was never hateful or spiteful towards them because I believe that you can’t solve hate with more hate.
5) Things get better.
When it seems like all is lost and nothing will ever be the same, remember that time heals all wounds. Keep your head up when things go sour. Confide in your friends and new family at UC to support your lifestyle and what makes YOU happy. It’s your life and it only gets better; surround yourself with supportive people.