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Coming Out Stories

Maribel Pagan

I never thought I’d tell a soul, yet I didn’t know what to do at the age of 12. By that time, I came to the utter realization that I was not straight. I thought I was lesbian, and I was so afraid to tell a soul because once I told … that would seal my fate. That would automatically make me a “lesbian for life” and stuck outside of the salvation of the Catholic Church. I would be abandoned by my faith and my family. I’d go to hell. Or so I thought.

Years passed, and my sexuality became more clear but not easier to accept. I remember when I first told one of my best friends, “I’m not straight.” His immediate response was, “I love you no matter who you are.” I then proceeded to tell him my story of how I thought, when I was 12, that I was lesbian, but I soon realized at the age of 14 that I was bisexual. I also told him my fear of abandonment from God and my family, to which he replied, “It seems like your family loves you a lot. And I doubt God will hate you for something that’s part of who you are.”

After this, it took a couple of years to come out to each of my family members and friends. It was on my 18th birthday that I completed my coming out process. I only received a couple of instances where friends left me because of my sexuality. On the other hand, I’d say I’ve received very positive responses from a variety of people: family, friends, acquaintances, even church leaders! And I want to add these last imparting words of hope for all of you who are still closeted: It will be difficult to completely come out, but it is even more difficult to keep this to yourself. Find a trusted family member or friend to tell, one whom you know will respond positively and will show empathy towards you. I encourage you to find this understanding person. It is always easier to tell once a positive response has been received.