Facing the reality of coming out


Trina Lizama

For many LGBTQ+ teens, coming out can be a terrifying ordeal. While some friends and family may be more supportive than others, fear prevails.

Trina Lizama, Staff Reporter

One of the most terrifying things that come with accepting yourself for being who you are is telling others about your true self. There are many ways that this could be harmful to the person who is coming out. With there being a National Coming Out Day, this is a way that could help those who are readying to come out or to support those who haven’t due to certain circumstances. I was able to interview a few people about their experiences of coming out and was able to understand their fears and thoughts around the experience. 

Wren Bulawin is a senior at Ayala High School. They identify as nonbinary and aroace, which aroace means the person does not feel sexual or romantic attraction. They explain how they came out and the response from those people.

My mother was relatively fine with me coming out as aroace (according to her, as long as I don’t like girls she’s fine with it), but did not really understand me coming out as nonbinary.” Bulawin said. “My nonbinary coming out experience was quite negative and discouraged me from explaining further, but one day when I feel safe enough I may fully explain it to my family.”

Wren was able to give some insight about how recent events, such as COVID and anti-LGBTQ+ laws, has affected their ability to come out. 

“Coming out through social media and text made the adjustment period among my friends easier, as my preferred name and pronouns would always be on my display name whenever we communicated,” Bulawin said. “As anti-LGBTQ+ laws became a spotlight in the news, I found that my mother and most family members tended to praise these types of laws (as a conservative Christian). This unfortunately has further discouraged me from coming out to my conservative, religious family members, even if they are also in my age bracket.”

There are many non profits that are dedicated to helping out the LGBTQ+ and providing helpful and safe resources. For instance, The Trevor Project is one of the well known organizations that provide affordable services and have a 27/7 hotline to use. They are one of the biggest advocates for the community and are constantly posting resources and giving advice to the community.  

To show their support for those who aren’t able to come out or are not ready, they had created a post(hyperlink) (right) giving reassurance to those you have not come out yet. In another post about national coming out day, they mention a handbook to help guide those to coming out. 

There are many ways that coming out can go. Most people tend to get a negative outcome or more so an outcome they didn’t want. Cody Flores had a rocky outcome of him coming out. Though his parents were accepting with his sexual oriantation, Cody got a more negative reaction about being transgender.

“My dad surprised me when he was very calm and chill about accepting me. I was in so much relief that he accepted me for my sexuality and who I was as a person. It was easier for me to come out to my mom because of how understanding she is and how close I am with her so either way she accepted me right away.” Flores said. “I eventually came out as being transgender to my parents. When I expressed how I felt about myself and that I’m a boy, he shut me down and basically degraded me saying that I was born a girl and that’s what I’ll always be. So basically I found out the hard way that he was transphobic, meanwhile my step-dad (who I’m close with) was accepting of me and accepted me as his son. My mother accepted me as her son as well and this made me happy because at least someone accepts me.”

As there are many people who come out on a daily basis, there are many organizations that are able to support those who felt good just coming out even though they didn’t get the best reaction. Alex Rosas is one of those people. They felt ready to come out about their sexual orientation but when it came to his gender identity, they held back on that. 

“I told my parents on Christmas day 2020, I was sobbing even though I knew they would be okay with it and would accept me as lesbian,” Rosas said. “I do not plan on coming out as non-binary because I already tried and my parents were unsupportive.” 

There’s no doubt that coming out is a scary thing. With there being so many ways someone’s family and friends can react to you, you can have that relieving feeling once you’ve done it. And even for those you aren’t out, there are so many resources available to those to access. 

“Coming out was seriously the most terrifying and freeing thing I’ve ever had to do, even when the outcome wasn’t what I wanted,” Rosas said.