After coming out to my friends, I didn’t know how long it would take for me to tell my family. I really wanted to get it off my chest, but I had no idea what kind of reactions to expect from my parents. I didn’t know who to tell first, or how to tell them.
The first family member I ended up telling was my cousin, which seemed normal and natural to me as I consider her one of my closest friends. As anticipated, she was more than okay with it and we then had a nice conversation about it.
Attending the Pride for the first time in Rome last June was a real game changer for me. It helped me feel included, accepted and overall proud of who I am, which are feelings I’d been missing. That evening, I posted a picture on Instagram of a friend and I kissing each other, explicitly showing that I like girls. It was a way for me to come out without necessarily saying anything and, thankfully, everyone reacted very positively. When we came back from our trip, my friend decided it was time for her to come out to her mother, and it gave me the courage to do the same. I imitated her and sent a long text message to my mum explaining who I am. Looking back on it now, it might not have been the best idea, but I knew I wouldn’t have the courage to say anything face to face or over the phone.
I didn’t receive the reaction I was expecting, but at least she didn’t react badly. We had a conversation about it, and I quickly realised that she didn’t actually fully understand what bisexuality is. I don’t think she’s ever had someone like that in her surrounding, so the only situations she sees are from films or tv series, which honestly don’t always portray reality. She then told my dad, who never talked to me directly about it but I know will let me live my life. I notice my mum makes efforts now and has made it clear that it’s something she accepts and supports.
I don’t think all my family members know about me, and that’s okay. I mainly wanted to share it with the people I’m closest to because I felt there was a big part of me they didn’t know about. I feel relieved that they know and that none of them treat me differently for it, which was my main concern.
It took a lot of courage to come out, and I couldn’t have done it without my friends’ ongoing support. I’m very lucky to have people I can turn to, and to have friends who don’t judge, and who always try to understand.
Not everyone feels the need to come out, and that’s absolutely fine. I personally felt like I wasn’t being true to myself if my loved-ones didn’t know about me, but I also know some people who live their life without their family knowing and it doesn’t seem to bother them; it’s different for each person.
It’s important to remember that you need to put yourself first: if coming out is something you feel like you need to do in order to accept yourself, then go for it. But make sure you are in a safe environment, with people who support you. Not coming out and protecting yourself doesn’t make you any less who you are. What matters most is the way you feel, not the amount of people who know about you.
Lots of love,
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