I’m so happy to welcome Savvy to the blog today to share their coming out story (and I am so, so proud of them). Savvy is a queer teen book blogger and bookstagrammer Check out their book blog Twitter and writing Twitter. You can also find them at their blog.
I’ve gone back and forth on how I wanted to word this. I’ve rewritten it time and time again, and not just for this post. I’ve said it in my head so many times, but I’ve never been able to fully put into words how I feel being out to most people. About how I feel now that I’m able to fully be myself.
I think the best way I can think of putting it is, a breath of fresh air. It’s like trying to swim from one end of the long pool to the other without ever surfacing and then finally, when you can’t take it anymore and your lungs are burning and yelling, bursting from the water for that first gasp of air. You never realize how much you needed it until you finally got it.
I never realized how much of myself I was hiding until I finally shared with my mom, my grandparents, and my aunts that I’m gay. To my mom that I’m nonbinary.
It was like surfacing from sitting on the bottom of the pool. It was my breath of fresh air. The gasp I needed after a long time of pretending to be someone other than me.
Being able to be me was like finally being able to breathe.
I was confused and felt like I was being held down when I was questioning and it was as alright when I finally settled on not really labeling my sexuality beyond gay and queer. I was as good as one can be when they finally admit to themselves that they haven’t been honest with others about who they are. And it was better for a time but the looming thought of sharing this new part of myself that I discovered, that I continued to keep to myself, was terrifying. Proclaiming who you are to the world is terrifying. But after so long I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t stand not being me around the people who thought they knew me the best. The people who, a lot of the time, know me better than I know myself.
I wanted to be able to be comfortable being me and I wanted to be able to be me around the people I care about. And even though they have to work on some things, I’m lucky enough that they want me to be comfortable being myself with them. They taught me to be unapologetically myself, and to get everything off my chest and to be able to be me, not hiding any part of myself, is thrilling. It’s terrifying, but thrilling.
I can just be me.
And that feeling, even if from very few people and even if some of their reactions were not the best, that feeling of putting a piece of myself out there to share with the world is enough to keep me going. It reminds me of what it’s like to unapologetically be myself and that no one should be able to hold you back from that feeling. No one can stop you from being you and if they try they’ve never really been there for you. They’ve only been there for their image of you and that’s not the real you.
That feeling is being yourself and there’s almost nothing as refreshing.
It’s all about feeling when the time is right, when you feel it’s safest for you. I’m still in one situation where I can’t be myself because I can’t read the people. I can’t tell where they stand. And that’s okay. Not pushing for a situation you can’t read is okay. You get to choose when you want to be you. When you’re ready.
But dang, do I long to be able to feel that thrill of unleashing me to everyone I know. To be able to finally be very openly gay . . . And maybe one day, openly nonbinary.
Until then, I’ll just keep being as much of me as I can with the people around me. I’ll take my small breaths here and there and I’ll wait for those last few big gasps. For now, I’m content withslowly being able to breathe again.