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I was 14 the first time I thought killing myself would be easier than coming out.
We had gone to a 60th birthday party for a family friend, the whole family. It was supposed to be a fun saturday night that meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. But that night I heard my dad say something that has stuck with me for years.
Looking back it was just a conversation between too drunk men that they both wouldn’t think about the next day and I should have viewed it as such. But I didn’t, I cried myself to sleep, wishing I could change who I was and thinking that it would be easier just to die than face who I was.
I was standing in the room when my dad said “There’s nothing wrong with gay’s, everyone needs someone to bash”. I don’t remember anything else that happened at the party, my whole world crashed. My dad thought I deserved to be bashed, the same man I used to cry to when the kids in primary school bullied me; was now saying I deserved to be beaten for who I am.
I laid in bed that night thinking that maybe it was easier to kill myself than have my family find out I was gay. I thought about the ways I could do it. I imagined myself going to the kitchen and getting one of the knives from the second drawer; but that would hurt too much. I didn’t know enough about pills to overdose. Somehow I fell asleep that night and I’m not sure when or how I came to the decision that I wasn’t going to kill myself, but I’m glad I didn’t.
I did however come to the conclusion that I could never tell my parents the truth. So I shut myself away. I stopped sharing, I no longer felt safe being open with my parents. Honestly I’m not sure that I will ever be able to open up fully to my parents again. But its getting easier.
When I did come out to my dad, it was so anti-climactic that I wondered what I’d ever been worried about. When you build something up in your head for so long, it becomes a part of you and it took me a while to accept that it had happened and he really didn’t have a reaction, let alone a negative one. These days he’s only concerned that I might end up dating a vegetarian, he just couldn’t get on board with that.
I doubt my dad will ever be marching with a pride flag, but I’m glad that he’s my dad. He’s makes sure I know he’s proud of me and the things that I’ve achieved. He calls me if he hasn’t heard from me in a few days and sends me texts when there’s something on TV I might like. He might still struggle with the fact I couldn’t care less about football though.
that night wasn’t the last time I thought about killing myself, there was still a long journey to get to where I am today, but I’m glad that I didn’t that night and I’m glad I made it to today. I’m happier than I have ever been and I’m slowly learning to open up and not keep everything to myself