As most of you know, I came out as queer to most of my family a while ago, around 16. I had something of a "Coming Out" day, and decided I just wanted to rip the bandaid off and tell everyone in the same day. I didn't tell them any labels, because I honestly still didn't know, I just told them that I loved a girl. But after a while I have settled on bisexual.
The reactions I got were much, much, better than I expected. I honestly feared for the worse even though my mom had dated a woman once, and my whole family was very progressive.
When I told my mom, it was in the car, driving back from my appointment with my therapist. Her reaction was to say, "I knew it!" and go on about her being queer.
When I told my aunts on the phone, pacing in my bedroom... One said "Good for you! I love you so much!" The other said, "Hey me too!" Which was incredibly helpful for me, because that aunt is one young cool gamer chick covered in tattoos. (So I liked hearing from her more than my mom.)
When I told my best friend, we were sitting on her couch watching Harry Potter. I ended with "I don't like you though don't worry, you're my sister!" She said something like, "Okay." I think she was pretty shocked. I left, but later she told me she was sorry for only saying "Okay," and that I was her best friend no matter what and she loves me just as much. I was so happy to hear that. I tried to tell her before about myself when we were talking about people we liked, I remember just hugging her, heart pounding out of my chest. She noted it too, "It must be pretty important if you're that scared, tell me when you're ready."
When I told another friend, it was on the phone as well before going to her birthday party. I forgot this until she reminded me last week, but I apparently said, "I don't know if you still want me to come to your birthday party, but .... I think I like a girl." She responded with that of course it was okay if I came, and that she supported me, but that she did like guys if this was my way of telling her she liked her.
When I was outed at school, the boys wouldn't stop telling me to make out with other girls, and the girls gave me dirty (unfortunately not the kinky kind) looks. I didn't care, however, because they weren't important to me.
The last two people I needed to tell were my grandparents. And one day, I decided to tell my Yiayia (Greek for grandma.) It was out of nowhere. We were sitting on her porch drinking lemonade, and it just came out.
"Yiayia, I think I like a girl."
"Are you sure? Some people change their minds and then ruin everything for nothing."
"Let's not talk about this again."
I sat there, shocked. I was expecting the same responses as everyone else in my family. Although I should have expected something different because of her Greek Orthodox religion. I ran into the house crying and to a bed. She came in a few minute later, putting her arms around me, saying that even though she didn't understand it, she would always love me. And then she went and made me patatas.
I haven't told my Papou (Greek for grandpa), because I didn't want a worse reaction.
The reason I'm remembering all this today is because my (lesbian) aunt called me today and talked about wanting to come out to them. Apparently she had told my Papou, whose reaction was "Okay", but not my Yiayia. She talked about how she was afraid of being disowned, but needed to tell her because she wants to be able to not live a lie. She said that she wanted to tell her co-workers but can't because she works in the same place as my Yiayia and word would get around. She wants people to stop suggesting guys for her to meet. She wants to rip off the bandaid like me.
It was odd for me to hear her asking for my advice, someone who is 12 years older than me. She even asked if I could come out for her.
And now, 2 years after my initial "Coming Out," I've made a pact with her that I'd tell Papou if she told Yiayia. So here I am, back at what feels like the beginning. Just as scared, despite knowing he is okay with it.
I still expect the worse. I expect to be hated.