I must’ve come out hundreds of times by now. That’s the thing that people forget to tell you; there is no big coming out one-time moment, you will never stop coming out to different people in your life. Maybe it’s when you first meet them, maybe it’s 10 years into a friendship. Every time is different, some good, some bad, but you will never really stop doing it.
One of my absolute favourite coming out experiences happened just after I started to really accept who I am. I was on a geography school trip, way back in Year 10 of secondary school, to Morocco. I had only just come out for the first time a few weeks before, in a very chaotic hushed hallway conversation with my best friend at the time, so you can imagine I was still feeling pretty nervous about my identity. I was sat around a campfire with a close friend; it was very late at night, most other people had already gone to bed. We were slap bang in the middle of nowhere, right in the heart of the Sahara Desert, on a special camel ride experience, and had stopped off to camp. I remember feeling a strange sense of calm and content, sat round that campfire under the stars, feeling the sand beneath my toes and hearing nothing but the crackle of the burning wood and the soft breeze over the dunes. It felt like time had stopped, like there was nothing else in the world beyond this moment.
In a sudden surge of confidence, maybe stirred by how weirdly giddily happy I felt, I turned to my friend next to me and said those magic words ‘I’m pansexual.’. It felt like a massive weight was lifted; I was so nervous about telling her, fearing a negative reaction (I’d already experienced a couple at that point), and couldn’t bear to lose another friend for just being who I am. To my joy, she cheered and hugged me, shushing my worried mutterings about how it didn’t change our friendship or who I was as a person in her eyes, and we both leapt up, dancing around the fire. It’s got to be not only one of my favourite memories ever in my short 20 years of life, but also one of the best coming out experiences I’ve ever had; pure joy, happiness and acceptance.
Photo by Cody Chan