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How I Faced the Challenge of Coming Out in Today’s World

Never in a million years did I expect myself to be sitting in my childhood bedroom writing about coming out, but here I am. So where do I begin? Surprise, I’m a lesbian.

Where it all began:

It all began in middle school, that’s when I noticed things had changed. That’s when the crushes on females started to become more apparent. I never acted on any of the crushes I had because I figured that every girl would have their own “girl crushes.” At that point I just kind of put it to the side for the time being. Once I entered high school I noticed it again, but still kind of ignored it because I didn’t think I would ever be gay. Then throughout high school I started to realize that it was OK and I shouldn’t be afraid of who I truly am. So in high school I came out to myself. I was the first person that I came out to and I have never been prouder of myself. 

See, the hard thing about coming out is that you are never truly prepared for what will happen. Nothing could have prepared me for the feelings I have now and the things I’ve gone through since coming out. I knew coming out would be hard but there was no way to be prepared for the hurt I have experienced. For years now, I have been struggling with how I wanted to come out but it never felt like the right time. I finally decided that now would be the best time because there would never really be a “right time.” Here is what it was like to come out to my family and friends.

Coming out to my best friends:

Telling my friends was one thing that worried me, but I knew if they were my real friends they would stay by my side. There are five main friends that I am going to talk about: I, J, E, B and Z. I won’t be using their names for privacy reasons. I told I, J and E all at the same time. They have been my friends the longest and I knew they were going to support me no matter what. They have always been there for me through everything and I knew that things wouldn’t change between us. They are the type of friends that you get and you keep forever. I am always going to cherish that about them because without them I don’t know where I would be in life. The next person I told was B and I knew that telling her was going to be hard. When I told B, I received no support from her and I knew that our friendship would never recover. I told B in August of this year and that was the last conversation that I ever had with her. Even though we aren’t friends anymore, I still wish her the best in life. 

The friendship with Z is what killed me, it was my downfall. I knew the moment I told her, that everything would be different. Z and I became best friends very quickly because we had a mutual friend that introduced us to each other. We were the type of friends that hung out every day and told each other everything. I didn’t think something like this would ruin the friendship that was there, but it did. I told Z right before I left for college in August and she was perfectly fine. Throughout the weeks, communication became less and less. I knew I was losing her, well, losing the idea of the friendship we had. It was hard because I was already struggling with my mental health and going through all of this was hard on me. She couldn’t support me and I knew that she never would, so I had to walk away from someone who I thought was my best friend — turns out she never was. 

What it was like telling my family:

The first person I came out to in my family was my older brother. We were on the way home from vacation and I was just sitting in the backseat needing to tell someone and I knew he would be the perfect person to tell. The thing about my brother is, he has always supported me through everything and I knew this one thing about me wouldn’t change anything between us. I was right, of course. He sat there and said, “Katie, I already knew you were gay.” Then the rest was history. I am incredibly thankful to have someone like him in my corner. So, Tyler, thank you for always being there no matter what. I love you and I am glad to have you as an older brother. 

It took me a while to build up the courage to tell my mom and stepdad. I didn’t know what to expect when it came to my parents so I ended up telling them in a very unconventional way. I told them through a meme, LOL. I found a meme on Google that said exactly what I needed it to and sent it to our family group chat. I am so grateful because my parents have been nothing but supportive. Everything I was worried about went away the instant they showed their love and support. I am incredibly lucky to have the parents I have. I love you guys.

To my family members that are finding out through this article, I am sorry this is how I have to tell you but I am not sorry for who I am. It is easier for me to come out this way because I am better at writing words than actually saying them. I hope you all understand, and I thank you for the years of support you have given me and I hope it continues.

My Love:

Now, this part isn’t about someone I came out to, but rather someone I fell for. She is someone that I will always be grateful for because she has made me ten times happier, has helped me gain confidence in myself, and has shown me what it’s like to be truly loved. For once in my life I have found someone that understands me like no one else, someone that is not only incredibly gorgeous but incredibly sweet and thoughtful, too. She never fails to make me smile and she keeps me afloat when I feel like I’m sinking. My love, you are one of the best things to happen to me, I love you so much.

I want to thank everyone again for the support you have given me. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such great people. I am also so incredibly lucky to be a part of Her Campus. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do this. For anyone struggling with coming out, know that many people are here for you. You have a whole community that will support you. Don’t forget to do things at your own pace, there is no rush on coming out.

Katie Tuggle

Virginia Tech '25

Hi, my name is Katie and I am a freshman here at Virginia Tech. I am majoring in psychology with the goal of becoming a grief counselor in the future. I love being around my friends and family, chasing sunsets, listening to music, and driving around. I am so happy to be a part of the Her Campus writing team because I feel like I have found a place where my voice gets heard. Her Campus allows me to tell my stories without being interrupted and it gives me a place to be my true self.
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