At the start of spring, under the warm rays of bright sunshine, flowers bloom in an array of magnificent colours. They grow and mature by the hundreds, though some flowers wait, remaining just a bud, anticipating a later season to show their true colours and beauty.
This is how I think of someone and their experience of coming out of the closet. You may have spent years watching people around you flower, entering relationships and experiencing things that you may not have felt ready to experience yet. But, time is the key to most things and with each day, you may begin to feel stronger.
Coming out is something that can scare you, make you feel like you’re trapped and release you all at the same time. It is that time when you are able to feel confident enough in yourself and the relationships that you have established. However, most importantly, it marks the opportunity for a new beginning: a rebirth.
Coming out to family is always going to be daunting. These are the people that have raised you and loved you. You are a product of them, but you also owe it to yourself to be who you are and who you see yourself to be.
If you feel that you do ever do need to come out, it is imperative that the process is purely for yourself and because you are ready and want it. Make sure that you are in a safe environment and be honest.
It may be a lot to take in for you and the person you are telling. You are not just defining a key moment in your life, but actively creating a moment and impacting the lives of your loved ones. Whilst it all may take some getting used to and there may be some slight tensions, with perseverance, honesty and love, your family ties and relationships may reach new levels of compassion and connection, not previously felt before.
Coming out to friends, I found, is easier for after all, friends are the family that you are able to choose. They chose to love you and to be with you and that is something that won’t go away.
I remember one of the first times I told a friend that I was gay. We sat on her bed, deep in a conversation. I was slowly working up to the big reveal and with each passing second, I felt my heart beating faster and faster, bursting to tell a secret I had kept hidden for so long. And then it just happened.
And that’s that.
What followed was a loving hug and the next chapter of our friendship. It turns out she knew I was trying to tell her since I arrived at her house, but she was willing to wait, wanting me to find the courage to tell her.
Maybe that is what friendship is – a challenge to help each other grow and find yourselves and from then, grow is exactly what my friendships have done.
So if you ever feel that you are ready to come out of that dreaded closet, out of the shadows and into the sunlight, remember to be surrounded by those who you love and who love you in return. This is your season and it is time to for you to finally bloom.