“This is where I came out of the closet… and never went back in.”
Austin, Texas, on a wall filled with other street art next to Homeslice Pizza.
I was on vacation in Austin visiting my family. This trip most definitely had purpose. I was going to come out once and for all.
The year or so leading up to this trip was a very turbulent time of self discovery. I had grown up in a conservative family and really not had any positive exposure to anyone in the LGBT community. I had been denying that I was queer for so long and felt so much guilt and shame about what I was that I had spiraled into depression and anxiety. I always knew I was a lesbian, but also ‘knew’ this was something that was ‘wrong’ and ‘unnatural’. Not that my family ever actually voiced it in such a way, but it was just sort of a general feeling of my environment. I was starting to bottom out and knew I HAD to confront myself. It was becoming overwhelming.
During that year I finally started accepting myself. I slowly started to come out to a select few friends that I knew I could count on. I got involved in the queer community and built up a support system. Then it was time.
I flew out to Austin with the intent of coming out for good. I met my family at the airport and we drove to Homeslice Pizza. We ate pizza, and ordered the cheesecake. It was over dessert that I ripped the bandaid off.
To my surprise, everyone was supportive. Shocked certainly, they didn’t see it coming, and there was lots of crying and questions, but there was also a lot of “We’ll love you no matter what.”
After I got back home, I came out to the rest of my friends. Most were perfectly cool with it, and the few that weren’t, I cut out from my life and moved on. I wouldn’t let them stand in the way of my happiness.
It was an intense and emotional day. Since then, my family has grown into the most supportive, awesome family I could ever imagine. I am now closer to them than I ever was.