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New Years Resolution: Last year’s, now this year’s

Question:

Hello TrevorProject,

This is Ashton back again, and it feels good to be back on AskTrevor again (I love the new web-design changes). I’ve missed your pep-talks and advice, but today into tomorrow are special hours for me that I would like to share with you guys. And so, I have a little story I’d like to share with you and all of those who are reading this.

Last year, at this time was the time I came out to my first person, my older sister. It was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do besides learning how to ride a bike. But the process of coming out to my first person was similar to riding a bike, in both situations you chose where to start, when to start, and how to start. And both roads can be a little bumpy.

It was late at night and my sister and I were talking about everything from the clouds in the sky to what we ate for dinner that night. Some point in our conversation I said, “Uh, Mandy, I think I’m gay.” She looked right up at me and said, “Oh brother,” using her silly voice, “I’ll always love you ’cause you’ll be in my heart.” Her last line streamed this energy that released throughout my body. A sensational feeling. Then, we parted to go bed, and I left feeling like our sibling was bond stronger than ever.

The next day I faced a whole new challenge. When riding a bike for the first time, typically one has training wheels, this time there were no training wheels to keep me guided and the road was bumpy. On that day, New Years Eve, I had to break up with my girlfriend who was also my childhood friend. It started with us on a walk talking about the TV series, GLEE. I stopped walking and my girlfriend asked me if I was feeling okay. I told her that we had to break-up. She got flustered and upset until I said those two, difficult words, “I’m gay.” She gripped my hand and said, “That’s okay. I guess I already knew this day would come. I still love you no matter what.” Once again, this pressure was relieved from me, as we walked back arm in arm.

If you haven’t guessed yet, my New Year’s Resolution last year was to come out to those who mattered the most to me. I came out to my older sister and my best friend. Also, a couple weeks ago, I came out to my Spanish teacher.

Every time I come out to someone, this sensational feeling overcomes me, a pressure is lifted as well.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2013, is to continue coming out to more people I care about and trust. And to make the attempt to my family.

As my Spanish teacher said, “You are who you are, and you can’t change that. You don’t ‘need’ to tell everyone that your gay, only to those that care and love you for who are. If they ‘be-friend’ you then you know they were not meant to be your friends. Take your time Alejo (my Spanish name) and go at your own pace. I’ll be here to help you if you need it.”

My teacher’s words is what’s giving me my courage now, that extra push when riding this bike. A push that is soft and gentle, but enough force is applied to allow me to move forward again and pedal down this road. The road of accepting myself with pride as the world watches, and accepts or rejects who I am. Every now and again I will hit a bump on the road, some bumps will be bigger than others, but nothing will take me down, because I know it will get better. Someday.

Your gay friend, Ashton <3

Letter submitted by:

So my question for you guys to help me with my New Years resolution, is what are some good factors or timings when to “Come out of the closet” to someone? Is it okay to never tell your parents?

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Ashton/Alejo -

Great hearing from you and it sounds like your experiences have been very positive so far in your coming out process – which can be classified more as a marathon rather than a sprint.  You are right in that you will hit roadbumps from time to time – some bigger than others.  However you seem to have the right attitude that things do get better when we are honest and upfront with people about everything we do, including but not limited to our sexuality.

As far as good factors or timing to come out to the closet -first and foremost remember it’s your own personal decision and ultimately you have the right to decide when and where to do this.  With that in mind though, I’d suggest that you do this in a situation where you have the other person’s full attention and have time to have a meaningful and frank discussion.  While it can be tempting to pass the information off when you’re heading out the door to school, practice, etc. it’s more respectful to the other person if you give them the opportunity to take in the information and respond back face to face.   With regards to coming out to your parents, that’s a personal decision like anyone else you come out to.  Everyone’s personal situation is a little different and you have to weigh the costs and benefits of coming out to them.  It sounds like you are close to your sister and Spanish teacher who can both help you out in the process.

You can find more information in the following article that details some questions you may have when considering coming out to your parents.  http://amplifyyourvoice.org/youthresource/youthresource-comingout.  Additionally, I would encourage you to log on to Trevor Space – www.trevorspace.org.  It’s the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site where you can connect with others who might have similar questions and/or experiences to yours.

Thank you,

The Trevor Project