I shared my coming out story with you just a few blog posts ago.
You can read that here. But that was only half the story. As with most everything I do, I do it in phases.
In 2016, I decided I was tired of living my life in a way that made me feel like a fraud. I felt like I was living only half my life because I was concealing the fact that I was not only attracted to men but women as well. I hated that feeling. So I came out about my sexuality. But I only came out to close friends and some family.
At that time, I wasn’t ready to share with the world the truth about me.
It still felt too big, too new and sadly too shameful. There was a lot of work still left to do in order to grow and learn to accept this part of myself. So for nearly a year, I put in work to love myself more and release my shame.
I explored parts of me I was too scared to show anyone else. I journaled endlessly. I read every book I could get my hands on. I listened to every spiritual podcast that existed, at least that’s what it felt like. I dug into my past and envisioned the future I wanted for myself. I tried every kind of self-help tip, trick or technique I could learn. And a year later, I found a new me.
I’ve been writing for quite a while.
For years, I wanted to start a blog but I didn’t have the courage to. So instead, I would write, edit and store away blogs in the depths of my laptop for no one’s eyes to read. I just let them sit there in hopes that one day I’d gain the courage to share them.
Down below is a blog I wrote in November of 2017. It’s about the other half of my coming out story – the part where I decided to subtly hint to the world (or at least my friends on social media) who I really was.
There are a few things I noticed in reading this old blog.
1. I have a different writing style than I did two years ago but my voice is still mostly the same.
2. This unpublished blog post was the beginning of a new version of me. That was the day I realized so much about me had changed.
3. I’ve been on this journey of self-love for a while now. It’s been a ride!
I hope you enjoy this blog from the old new-Rory.
I’m coming out! My story of October 11th
What’s the significance of October 11, 2017? It was a Wednesday but that’s not the important part – it also happened to be National Coming Out Day.
I had never heard about this day before. Not until Ellen Degenerous posted about it on Instagram.
Let me just start by saying it’s bullshit that anyone has to ‘come out’ about their sexuality to begin with.
I look forward to the day when sexual orientation is such a non-issue that “coming out” is a thing of the past. It’ll be talked about just like the weather or sports or dietary preferences… But for now, coming out does matter. For now, it’s a challenging decision to make – one that people agonize over.
But let’s go back to October 11th.
As I sat at work scrolling through Instagram during a break, I saw a picture Glennon Doyle posted that said: “GOD LOVES GIRLS WHO LOVE GIRLS”.
I felt so moved by this and the sentiment of what this day meant. It hit me hard to think that there was an entire population of amazing people – young, old, white, black, male, female, parents, children, siblings, friends – still feeling so ashamed of who they are that they would conceal it from the rest of the world. For so long, I was part of that group. But I didn’t belong in that group anymore.
I spent nearly a year working to overcome the stigma of being bisexual.
Not just the stigma I felt from other people, but also the stigma I had placed on myself; this idea that by being bisexual, I was somehow flawed. After months of deep soul searching and a shit ton of inner-work, I let go of the shame I had carried for so long. I was finally able to accept myself.
And now I wanted to let it be known – I wanted to be freely and openly me once and for all! Being that it was National Coming Out Day, that’s exactly what I did.
I’d had this idea once or twice before, but I wasn’t ready to be so open then.
What was different about this day? I don’t know! I don’t know why I felt so compelled to openly be myself in this particular moment on this exact day.
Maybe it was that I had recently heard about an old friend spreading rumors about me. Maybe it was because I was finally fed about living half my life. Or maybe it was simply a short term burst of confidence. Either way, something about this time felt right. So, with a stomach of nerves and encouragement from a friend, I stole Glennon Doyle’s picture and wrote a post of my own!
In doing this, I felt lighter and liberated – like I had just taken off a heavy old smelly coat in the dead of summer. I was out and I could breathe again, finally!
Yes, I got endless supportive feedback from the wonderful people in my life – I knew that I would! Yes, I felt accepted despite this part of me that I had always considered to be a flaw. But the most liberating and empowering part of it all? I no longer needed that validation and acceptance from others to make me feel worthy. A year of soul searching led me down a path where I realized I loved and accepted myself – that’s all I needed.
Looking back on my journey now, it still sometimes brings me to tears.
I came from a place of self-rejection, shame, and fear of being ostracized. Those years were painful. Today, I live in a place of confidence, self-love, and authenticity. I wanted so badly to reach this stage of life but I never really believed it was possible. And yet, on October 11th, I realized it was. I realized I had finally reached my destination of self-love and acceptance. A new me emerged.
If you know anyone who relates to this, or could use a boost of motivation as they set out on their own coming out journey, please share this! It might be the thing someone needs that gives them a little extra courage.