My Coming Out Story
by Ebony Smith
Okay, so where do I begin? I'm eighteen, soon to be nineteen, and I will be returning to university this Fall as a Sophomore. I would like to believe I am smart, headstrong, compassionate, and a whole array of other awesome qualities, but I must adhere to humility, as Jesus would have me do and stop my rambling. (*smiles*)
I was adopted when only two years old. My biological mother was too young and violent to take care of me properly. No one even knows who my biological dad was. I was raised in a Christian home, Baptist, and grew up like any regular kid. I have eleven brothers and sisters, all but two of them older than me. I got plenty of love and was "normal" by all accounts.
I remember one day vividly. It was January (I remember the month because it was my mom's birthday month), that me, my mom, and two of my brothers were home, and were watching some fashion movie on Lifetime. I was only nine when this happened, but I clearly remember one point during the show where this woman came on screen in this long beautiful white wedding dress.
I remember thinking; "She's so beautiful; I want to marry her!" Having not seen anything wrong with that thought, I proceeded to happily tell my mom; "When I grow up, I'm gonna marry a woman as pretty as she is!"
Thinking (probably) that I was merely joking, mom laughed and said; "Honey, you won't marry a girl; you'll marry a guy." I was confused and asked her; "Why? I want to marry a girl."
Once again my mother laughed and shrugged saying; "Girls marry boys, and boys marry girls."
I didn't bother to ask anymore.
A few years later, in sixth grade, I made friends with this girl named Julie. I went to a predominantly black school (I'm biracial, and my family's predominantly black), and I was intrigued by Julie because she was white. But then I got to know her and she was beyond awesome.
She told me about how she'd "experimented" with girls and I was curious as to what she meant, because aside from my nine year old declaration of marrying a woman, I had all but forgotten about it.
It wasn't until three years later, at the age of 14 in ninth grade, that I got my first crush. On a girl on my soccer team. At a private Christian school.
At first I thought I was just excited by her personality. She was very sportive, was on honor roll and absolutely gorgeous. She was one grade ahead of me but because the school was relatively small (only 750 students from grade 1 to 12), and we were on the same sports team, we were around each other a lot. We became really good friends.
We hung out after school, went to Bible classes together, the works.
I remember one day that we were headed to an away soccer game on the bus and it was raining outside.
During the actual game (I was left defense), I slipped and fell on the slippery ground so much, and Katie (the girl I crushed on) who was the goalie couldn't stop three goals because of my ineptitude.
I literally started to cry as we made our way to the buses after the game. We lost spectacularly. I remember feeling a hand on my shoulder turning me around, and looking up into Katie's eyes. She was so sweet, so loving, that I felt embarrassed to be crying around her. I tried to pull away, and before I knew it, she was pulling me into a hug.
She didn't let go of me until I'd calmed down, and she made me sit with her on the bus so we could talk privately.
The way my heart pounded and my stomach erupted into butterflies feeling her arms around me, I knew I couldn't deny what I felt.
That was when the slight depression began, because I figured; God couldn't love me now that I was gay, right?
I began to withdraw from family, into myself. I told myself over and over that if I stayed single for the rest of my life, maybe then God would love me.
Things finally came to a crossroads when I fell in love with a girl named Kayla (this was two years later, in 11th grade, and I'd left the private school for a public one). We both had English together, and Yearbook. I helped her in English and she was my Editor in the Sports section of Yearbook. I had it so bad for her but I kept telling myself I had to stay single.
At home, family members began questioning me out of curiosity about my love life, wondering why I wasn't dating. I just smiled and shrugged a lot.
And then came my senior year. By now I was 17. I had never acted on any of my crushes, never dated anyone, and still had my beloved V-card. Regardless of my sexuality, I do not believe in pre-marital sex.
I was getting college acceptance letters and getting many talks from my family about how I would soon be on my own and making my own decisions.
I was afraid I would "sink" and get caught up doing things that went against the Bible. I desperately wanted God's approval. I prayed until I cried and then prayed some more for God to "fix" me, so He could love me. Surely I had to turn straight for Him to love me, right?
And then I went off to college and there I slowly learned the truth. God already loves me and I don't need Him to "fix" my homosexuality. He knew me before I was even born. I was gay before I was baptized in the Church at age 11, and I am still gay now. My soul is as precious to Him as anyone elses', made perfect through Jesus' ultimate sacrifice.
As of today, the only people who know I am gay are two of my female friends, both of whom are bisexual, and my younger sister and two nieces.
Slowly but surely, as I am starting to accept myself, I find it is easier to let others (that I trust and are important in my life) know something so precious about me.
And as for the people I am afraid to come out to...
I truely believe that when anti-gay Christians preach their beliefs, it is not because they hate us, but because they are either mis-informed, or comfortable with traditional values that they were brought up by in their homes. They simply preach what they've always been taught.
Different ideas can be scary for some people. But I believe that if we give it time, if we continue to show people, and not just tell them, then acceptance is within our grasp. We have God's blessing behind us, and He loves us.
Coming Out 101 explains what you need to know about Coming Out.