“The following is a personal essay from our 15-year-old’s journal. She has asked us to share this and is confident in doing so. Me… I’m a little anxious. I don’t trust the world with my daughter’s heart and words but because we respect her and admire her purpose in doing so, we are supporting her in this. We are sharing because Helena wants others to see how it could be because she knows it often isn’t this way for others. She has a mission we’re proud to support:
Normalizing accepting unconditional love and support that affirms people for who they are.
Love is love and love wins.
This is not the place for any comments that are deriding, hateful, dismissive, or otherwise anything but supportive. We get that some won’t ‘agree’ with who she is and will take issue with that. Who she isn’t is not up for dissent or disagreeing opinions.
Without further ado, Helena, nicknamed ‘Lollie,’ shares her words on coming out…
‘So, coming out, huh? Well, I first came out to my mom on Sunday, January 7th, 2018, and it was surprisingly… nice.
It felt good telling someone I am attracted to women. Sure, I might think some guys are cute or hot, but ‘Ooo! I want to date him and have a family together’ isn’t at all what comes to mind in any of my experiences. Recently, I experienced walking into a room full of young men, all high school seniors and college students. I didn’t find any of them attractive, even though many of my straight friends gushed about how cute they were, and it hit me: I like girls. All my crushes are on girls. I’m really only attracted to women.
So after telling my mom I’m a lesbian, it felt like a small weight on my shoulders was lifted. I don’t have to keep that little piece of information about me a secret. I was clear about who I am. It feels good my family really knows who I am like I do and I could openly gush about how there was this really hot girl on the train.
It wasn’t I felt like I had to hide. Truth is, I never felt like I was really in the closet anyway because I’ve always known my family loves and accepts me for who I am. I’d previously came out as bisexual, so my friends and family all knew I thought women and men were attractive. My mom knew about my longest-lasting crush (a heartbreaker but what can you do?) and it was no big deal.
Still, I was a mix of feelings about telling them I’m a lesbian. It was important to me they know but I was afraid too. To me, my parents are different than most parents. They are super accepting and easy to talk to, but I thought maybe in this way, they weren’t different. When I heard my friend say they couldn’t tell their parents about their sexuality and how they identify and when I watched videos of others coming out and heard about a lot of negative reactions, I got worried that would be my parents too. It was easier to tell them about being bi and that I had crushes on girls because there was still a possibility I liked guys too. What if they were disappointed?
I asked my mom how she felt. You know what? She told me my sexual identity wasn’t about how she felt but since I asked, she told me she loves me very much and she’s proud of me. She also told me we should go shopping for some pride stuff together soon. It made me happy. Then I felt bad. I wish everyone could have this. I have friends whose parents are angry they aren’t straight and friends who have to hide who they are from their family. I feel guilty about how well my family received me being a lesbian, knowing other people don’t have that.
My mom told me I never had to come out to her, but she accepts and respects it was important to me to do so. She explained I can love who I love and because I love them, she’ll love them too. I think she felt bad I felt like I had to tell her I’m lesbian instead of just telling her who I like but I really wanted her to know.
I asked her for some LGBTQ enamel pins and we started looking on Amazon. She showed me a Mama Bear LGBTQ shirt she wants to get that says Mama Pride. I really like that.
After telling my mom, I then told my two older sisters and my dad the next day. Well… I didn’t tell them. I asked my mom to, but I was right next to her at the dining room table. I was just too scared I might start crying and be incoherent. I cry easily, even when I’m happy. Strong emotions make me cry, it’s just how I am. I didn’t want that to be the way I shared how I identify a second time to the people who matter to me most. I totally cried. As my mom told them, I hid behind my tea mug (it was a pretty big mug) because I didn’t want them to see me crying. I thought I was strong enough to not start crying. Removing the mug a few seconds later (like ten), I openly cried in front of them. Everyone told me they loved me and thanked me for sharing this part of me with them.
My mom then said, ‘Well since I haven’t done this and I don’t like the world being so heteronormative and since it feels like gay people need to come out, then so do I. I’m straight. I like men, and I haven’t found a woman attractive.’
I loved that. I loved she openly said that. Sure, she said, ‘I hadn’t thought I’d have to say this,’ and yes, it probably was easier because heterosexuality has been the norm for a long time.
My biggest sister Ophélia then said, ‘I’m straight as well.’
Lavinia, the next eldest, then joined in and said she is pansexual. Earlier, she had come out as bi, like me.
Of course, my dad then joined as well, and stated, ‘Yeah, I’m straight, I like women.’ And we all laughed as he looked at my mom.
So yes, I think my family is totally fine with this. I think they love me no matter who I love or what I am. And I think I’ve been overthinking it. I’ve been afraid of coming out, showing that yes, indeed I don’t find men to be attractive and I’m attracted to women. I think I’ve been that for a while. Like… my whole life. I’m a lesbian. This is who I am, and my family loves me just the same.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica and Jeremy Martin-Weber of We’re All Human Here. Follow We’re All Human Here on Instagram here. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
Read more stories from Jessica and Jeremy here:
‘She came to us asking why she felt so much anger. Jeremy gave her a hammer. The slightest thing sets her off, boiling just under the surface.’: Daughter ‘relieved to know she wasn’t alone’ after parents help her to ‘release anger safely’
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