Content warning: Contains description of suicidal ideation. Hey! I am a 15 year-old girl living in Ireland. As a member of the LGBTQI+ community (lesbian), I know how hard it is to come out, and today I’m going to share my story.
I have always lived in a very inclusive and supportive house, so much so that when I was younger, my parents would always say “do you like any boys, or girls?” I went to an all-girls primary school, I played sports and I had lots of friends. In my primary school, we did dancing classes in first class, and every week I partnered up with the same girl. As a 6/7 year old, I just thought I liked her as a friend, but looking back on it, I realised that I did have a crush on her.
As me and my friends got older, everyone started to develop crushes on boys. I thought that I had a crush on this one boy, but again, looking back, I think I only wanted a platonic relationship. The same thing happened when I was ‘going out’ with a boy at age 12. I never had the desire to hold his hand, hug, or kiss him.
When I was in first year, I went to my first disco. At these discos, it was very normal to be asked to kiss a stranger. I had no wish to kiss any of the boys at the discos. When I got to second year, me and my friends went to a disco and I was made fun of for never kissing a boy, and I was pressured by them to kiss a stranger, which I regret to this day.
Around May in first year, I began to question my sexuality. I labelled myself as bisexual, but never came out because of fear. In the summer of first year, I went to a residential sports camp. We made friends with a group of boys at this camp. One of my friends told one of the boys about the dancing partner story, and that everyone in the class thought that me and the girl were dating. He made fun of me for being a lesbian. This scared me to come out even more.
After being made fun of, I started to have intrusive thoughts; thinking that I was ‘fake’ liking girls, and feeling this way for attention. I have done research and this is a very normal stage of being closeted/questioning your sexuality. These thoughts kept going, and I would have them all the time; when I was out with friends and family, before I went to sleep, in school, when I was playing sports – pretty often. These thoughts broke me down.
In 2020, when the pandemic hit and we were put in a lockdown, these thoughts became more frequent than before, because I had less things to distract me. This is when things started going downhill. These thoughts were taking over my head and I felt trapped and alone. In the middle of April I started to have worse thoughts. I started to think there was no way to ever come out and that I was going to feel trapped forever. This is when I started to feel suicidal. I felt even more alone than ever.
I’m not going to go on about these months, but if I could describe how I was feeling in this time in three words, they would be: scared, alone and lost. Even though my family are so supportive and I tell them everything, I didn’t want to put more stress on them during the pandemic. So I kept it to myself.
Things started to brighten up in my life around August. My friends were amazing; we went out all the time, went on days out, had sleepovers, I had new things to think about. When I was back in school in September, the suicidal thoughts were gone. I was happy as ever and I was preparing to come out to my friends and family.
In November 2020, I came out to my friends and they were so supportive, and it was the same with my family. In January, 2021, I came out as lesbian – how I really felt. I am finally happy, out of the closet, and proud of how far I had come.
This piece that I wrote was not to scare people or to keep people from coming out – this was to spread awareness of what it’s normal to feel while closeted and coming out. My one and only regret is not speaking up about the thoughts I was having. If you are experiencing these thoughts – please speak out. I’ve attached some information for LGBTQI+ services.
Thank you for reading my story and I wish you and anyone you know the best of luck in coming out.
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