Coming Out as a Teenager
My name is Tristyn Vincelette, I’m 17, I’m bisexual, and this is my coming out story.
In my early teens I binged on videos, blogs, and quizzes about being bi, or really anything queer. All the stories I ever saw were these “perfect” coming outs and “always known” sexuality stories, which is why I’m sharing my not-so-fairytale experience. Now, I’ve talked about my coming out on my own blog before, but never the gritty parts of it. Before I begin, everyone in my life is supportive now, however it wasn’t always like this.
Isn’t Being Gay a Sin?
Let’s start way, way back. In middle school I of course had heard of gay people. I never really put too much thought into it, other than knowing the word gay had a bad connotation to it and that it was a sin. I never second guessed that, until my best friend at the time came out as gay. It shocked me at the beginning, and not in a good way. What was I supposed to think? “Wasn’t that bad? I can’t tell my mom. How is it a sin if it makes my best friend happy?”. Eventually, I just stopped thinking about it too hard. I knew my friend and I knew that’s what made them happy, so I let my questions die and backed my friend.
Questioning My Sexuality
Fast forward to Freshman year of high school. From here to middle school the amount of Google searches I did about homosexuality and Christianity were countless. Each answer different then the last. Though I was never really sure if it was a sin, I became very defensive of the community, as my number of LGBTQ friends had increased. As I grew older and more people came out, I realized it wasn’t so “taboo”. The more I learned about the community, the more I saw similarities in myself.
At that point I knew that I liked boys, no question there, but I realized that I might like girls too. I read every article, watched every video and took every quiz on bisexuality, trying to understand my feelings. Though I didn’t think it was wrong, I was scared of being it myself. After denying it for a while, I became convinced that what I felt towards girls was more than friendship. Still very uncomfortable with the idea, I told a handful of friends in the community that I was questioning. Not that they could help me all that much. Sexuality is something you have to figure out on your own. After being greeted with openness, over the span of a few months, I felt slightly more secure in my feelings.
Coming Out to Mom
My mom and I have always had a great relationship, almost as much friendship as parenting. So, with my possibly new found identity, I wanted her guidance. She had met a few of my LGBTQ friends and never really questioned them, and with that in mind, I thought she could help me figure this out. Though I believed she wouldn’t react badly, I was anxious out of my mind.
Come to find out, my anxiety wasn’t inappropriate. My confession was met with hours of shouting directed at myself, me trying to unsuccessfully reciprocate and recoiling to a puddle of tears, then eventually being sent down the street to my grandmothers. I honestly don’t remember much of the next week, other than a lot of crying and arguments. The only thing I remember crystal clear is my self hatred. After coming out to my mom I shut myself down for a while and closed off even the idea of me being that. With the dropping of the topic, our house went on as if I had never said anything at all.
A Moment of Acceptance
Two years passed until I even let myself think about being bisexual again. Strangely enough, the first time I ever felt comfortable with my sexuality was being in a relationship with a guy. He knew me so well it felt like lying keeping it from him, but I was terrified to have the same outcome as the last person I told. With weeks of laboring over the decision, I told him, and the nonchalant response meant more to me then I think he will ever know. Finally having someone that close to me accept me was my stepping stone to accepting myself. The next important person I came out to was my then best friend. Again, I was met with overwhelming love. From that point on it was my happy little secret.
As months went on, I became less and less happy with the secrecy of this monumental part of myself. I yearned so badly to be able to be publicly proud. I was less afraid of others’ reactions and more terrified of my mothers’. Not that I necessarily wanted to have relationship with a girl, as I was still in a long-term one, but just to not have to stop hiding it anymore. With this new found confidence and pride, I came to resent my mom for her response but couldn’t bring myself to resurface the topic. Only after a tsunami of events did any progress begin.
Sinking to the Bottom and Swimming Back Up
Outside of this conflict, I was struggling with severe depression and anxiety. In the summer of 2018 I attempted suicide. While I was in the hospital everything I ever hid came spilling out, including that I was still identifying as bisexual. After that she was more open to accepting me and learning about the LGTBQ community. It wasn’t flawless but, God, was it better than nothing.
Fast forward to present day, here I am writing a blog for PFLAG, to which my mom and I go to every monthly meeting. She is even the one who sought it out. I’m publicly out to everyone now, going on about 7 months, and I can’t say I’ve ever regretted it since. I wear a the rainbow flag pin on my book bag like a badge of honor. I’m finally proud to be bisexual.
You can read more from Tristyn on her blog.