Coming out should be unnecessary

Mariah Arviso, Media Editor

The one thing I hate about being gay is having to come out. I never understood the concept of having to say that you are attracted to the same gender.
In a way, I have always known that I was different from the other girls. All my friends would talk about all the boys they liked, and I never knew how to contribute to the conversation. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, coming out will always be one of the hardest things to do.
The first adult that found out I was gay only found out because they read my journal. That was my first experience of unacceptance from someone because of my sexuality. I was constantly reminded that I was young and did not know what I wanted.
The whole process of having to come out should be unnecessary. Society has implanted this mindset of the heteronormative lifestyle to be the only normal and acceptable way of living. Although there is a lot more inclusivity, there are people such as myself that cannot come out and expect to be accepted.
According to True Colors United, an LGBT organization, about 40 percent of LGBT youth experience homelessness due to unacceptance from parents and guardians. True Colors United is focused on providing services for those LGBT youth that are homeless because of similar situations such as unacceptance or family conflict.
That has always been a fear of mine. I know that if I were to be kicked out of my house I would have a place to go, but I am already 19 years old and there is only so much other people can do for a person. Having to come out adds more stress to a group of individuals who are already dealing with discrimination and hatred from other groups.
With the 2020 Presidential election around the corner, I have experienced the most homophobia from people around me than I have since I first came out. Although it was not directed towards me personally, it was still an attack on my community without them realizing it. Some people ask if I know for sure that my family will not accept me, and the answer is yes, I do.
My stepbrother came out as gay to my family before I was living with them permanently. My parents gave him the option to get help from the church or move out. He moved to LA and now we barely hear from him. I have tried to get help from the church because I kept telling myself that it will help.
I started to convince myself that it was working, but soon after I started to feel depressed and more anxious than usual until I met this woman that I was attracted to. I started to feel like I was this young girl experiencing her sexuality again. Eventually, this woman and I started dating, and she helped me accept myself again. Although we are no longer together, I will always be grateful to her for helping me find my true identity again.
Coming out sucks, but I know that once I come out to my family, it will only be the start of something amazing. I just have to find the courage to do so.