Millions of people worldwide identify as LGBTQIA+. Although you can go about defining their sexuality as they choose, many people decide to formally come out to their family and friends. Coming out can be just as frightening and nerve-racking as it is exciting and relieving.
If you aren’t quite sure of the reactions you’ll receive, overcoming that fear of opening up about your sexuality is bound to be a challenge. Even for those who are sure they will be accepted with open arms by whoever they tell, coming out can still be difficult. Unfortunately, many people who identify as queer don’t get the support and love they deserve after coming out with their sexuality.
No matter what gender you are attracted to, or what private parts you’d prefer yours to get steamy with, you are more than worthy of complete and total acceptance, as well as a fulfilling, satisfying and safe love and sex life. Read on for four of the most endearing and heartwarming coming out stories that are sure to make your day!
The Track Friends that Fell in Love
Brad Neumann went years under the radar as a gay man. Having grown up in a small, conservative farm town, he didn’t come out to anyone growing up. He went years trying to seem straight in order to avoid ridicule by his high school track and field teammates. He thought things would be different when he got accepted to the University of Minnesota to run for a Division 1 track team. However, they weren’t.
Upon moving to college, Neumann said he fell into a slight depression after hearing the slander his fellow athletes and teammates had to say about gay men. In a 2017 coming out essay he wrote, Neumann said, “I remember walking to the track in the middle of the night, just to walk aimlessly in circles, crying with frustration. I just wanted someone to relate to for the first time in my life.”
It wasn’t until Neumann’s friend and fellow track runner, Justin Rabon, came out to him in November 2014 that he felt like he could finally be himself with someone. After Rabon came out to him via text message, Neumann opened up to him shortly after. “Justin Rabon essentially saved my life,” Neumann wrote in his essay. The two men fostered an even stronger bond than before, and they began dating shortly after. Today, they have been dating for three-and-a-half years. Having just graduated from the University of Minnesota, they now to plan to move into their first apartment together and start their careers.
This Relatable Glow-Up
Caitlin Crowley went viral on Twitter after she jokingly tweeted a glow-up that got the Internet talking about coming out. In the tweet, photo shows her and a guy friend her freshman year of high school, and next to it is a photo of her kissing her girlfriend of over a year, Kirrin Chew. “Freshman to senior year, does this count as a glo up???”
Originally, Crowley meant for the tweet to be an inside joke with her friends. “"It was meant to be a funny joke between my friends and I, because Dylan [the guy in her photo] and I are still friends and laugh at our freshman year selves very often," Crowley told Buzzfeed in October. Thanks to her tweet, thousands of people shared their own similar gay glow-ups.
"Hearing the stories of complete strangers and their own coming out fears really hit me hard, because when I was first coming to terms with my sexuality I didn't know a single lesbian," she told Buzzfeed. "To anyone who's still in the closet: take your time, you are not alone, and you are valid!"
Parks and Rec’s Natalie Morales’ Fluid Sexuality
When she was growing up, Parks and Rec actress, Natalie Morales, only ever pined over boys, she wrote in a coming out essay on Amy Poehler’s website AmysSmartGirls. That is, until she developed her first crush on a girl in high school, who would end up becoming her first girlfriend. Although her girlfriend was out, Morales wasn’t, so they had to keep their relationship under wraps.
When they broke up, Morales said she felt dirty, ashamed and as if something was wrong with her. It took years for her to come to terms with her sexuality. She slowly came out to friends when she moved to Los Angeles. She dated all kinds of people, and she credits them for helping her learn more about who she really is.“I am not attracted specifically to any type of gender. I’m attracted to people. Each person is their own incredible, massive universe. That is what I am attracted to; that is what I want to know, want to love, want to defend, want to take care of,” she wrote on the blog. “I don’t like labeling myself, or anyone else, but if it’s easier for you to understand me, what I’m saying is that I’m queer. What queer means to me is just simply that I’m not straight. That’s all. It’s not scary, even though that word used to be really, really scary to me.”
This Trans Man’s Adorable Coming Out Video
Henry Tadebois, an Australian train driver, announced his female-to-male transition in an endearingly educational coming out video. In the video called “Further Out of the Closet,” he discusses his new identity in becoming a transgender man, alongside giving a lighthearted, informative lesson on the various changes he is experiencing as he goes through his transition.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Tadebois said, “[The video’s] original purpose was just to inform my friends of my transition — I never expected it to be enjoyed by so many people and it’s been amazing receiving everybody’s encouraging and appreciative messages. Maybe some have been educated by it, which is great. Maybe it’s helped someone else who is also coming out of the closet — that’s even better! But if people can just get a laugh out of it that’d be enough to know I’ve entertained someone and put a smile on their face.”