‘Well, the hard part is done, you’re good now.’ It. Is. Messy.’: Woman shares the ‘messiness’ of coming out late in life

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“I’m having a messy day…

OK, a messy period of life.

Like my brain isn’t functioning how it used to, it’s reactive and explosive, and it is adolescent in its nature.

We joke all the time in the late-in-life lesbian community about this stage when you come out later and have the teenage years again because, for many of us, our teen years were not safe years to explore, to learn ourselves, and to develop.

We talk about it, we joke about it, act like little teens again, etc….

But it’s more than hormones, it’s our brain’s un-believing truths we had told ourselves for many years.

For some, there is an awakening of all the mistreatment we endured because we believed truly we were somehow ‘less than’ or ‘not normal.’

We internalized homophobia and now we are unpacking and processing all the trauma we caused ourselves.

We are processing years and years of regret and all the ‘why didn’t I know sooner.’

We are attempting to rebuild entire lives and ways of living.

We are literally re-wiring our brains slowly.

There is lots of therapy, lots of crying and sobbing for unknown reasons.

There is lots of learning on what our body is actually feeling/wanting/needing.

We are working hard every day…




What I noticed after coming out to friends etc. is that in the hetero community, I believe coming out is thought of as a one-time event.

I came out.

People would say, ‘Congratulations’ or ‘That’s amazing for you, happy for you.’

And then there would be this silence…

This silence that said, ‘Well, the hard part is done, you’re good now.’

Coming out is a process, and it’s not a one-time thing either.

It’s a huge big giant daily process, and it’s not linear, and it’s not pretty sometimes.

So today, I’m just messy, my brain is messy…

But messy is normal.”

woman taking a selfie with hand on her chin
Courtesy of Carris Huxland

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Carris Huxland of New South Wales, Australia. You can follow her journey on Instagram and TikTok. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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