2 Coming Out Stories To Inspire Our LGBTQIA+ Community

National Coming Out Day just passed this October 11th. National Coming Out Day is a celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community and acts as a reminder of the power of coming out. As told by the Human Rights Campaign, this national day began in 1988, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. 

 

We want to honor our LGBTQIA+ community by sharing two inspiring stories about the journey of coming out, written by two powerful women in the RGV. We hope their stories inspire people in our local community to embrace who they are and come out (when they are ready.)

Mitzi Venus (she/her) is a 27-year-old model and actress from McAllen.

I come from a Baptist family. I’ve been going to church since I was a baby. I grew up with the holy spirit. My oldest sister is a lesbian, my parents had a hard time coming to terms with my sister’s sexuality. They still loved her but were also praying that she would come to her senses, find a man, get married, have children, and come back to church – which wasn’t right. Despite that, I always knew that I had a big heart. I didn’t see anything wrong with liking the same or different genders. As a kid, I had many crushes on boys, but I also knew when it came to some girls I would be very flustered around them. 

 
Going into middle school (2005), being queer wasn’t acceptable just yet. Students there would whisper and point out others’ sexuality, “Be careful around her, she likes girls.” Seeing the majority of my peers make fun of or feel uncomfortable around certain students because of their sexuality really scared me. In high school (2009), it was more acceptable to like whoever you wanted. You still had some people who were uncomfortable with it and some who were okay with it but said things like, “Don’t hit on me or check me out.” I had a girl in one of my freshman classes who was open about her sexuality, and I had a great admiration for her openness. I spoke to her about how I liked both sexes but wasn’t quite ready to be open about it. That same girl, later on, asked me to be her girlfriend in front of my friends, which I declined rapidly. She got angry and stormed out after that response. I remember feeling so many emotions. My friends, not knowing anything about my sexuality, were trying to comfort me in the ways they could. 
 
I remember asking my mom what she thought about bisexuals, to which she responded with, “There’s no such thing. You can only like one or the other. You can’t like both. People who like both are only looking for attention. People go through phases, and they get out of it.” From that day on, I was really hoping that it was a phase, and I prayed for that side of me to vanish. I didn’t want to look and feel things towards girls. It was a constant battle every day. 
 
It took me forever to finally come to terms with myself. In 2016, I remember telling my boyfriend at the time about my real sexuality. Every subsequent year, I wanted to come out during pride month, but I just couldn’t bring myself to. I was afraid of what the people I love would think of me, especially since I eventually married my boyfriend at the time. I would always write a pride post for the month and share LGBTQ posts on Facebook. I felt that by doing that, it was my way of coming out but still keeping myself safe. 
 
On Halloween of 2019, I finally came out to my friends about my sexuality, and they were all supportive. By that winter, I was on the journey of separation from my husband. It was not a good Christmas or New Year’s Eve. I remember my oldest sister telling me to come out to my parents during this time since my divorce was out there. “Tell them while the fire is still going. What else do you have to lose?” 
 
New Year’s Day came, and I remember sitting with my mother, oldest sister, and her then-wife at the table, drinking mimosas. My mom was going off about how she knew my sister was a lesbian, and that she saw all the signs since early childhood years to her being in high school. She continued to speak about how she didn’t understand how parents miss the signs of their children being queer. She seemed so proud of herself. It made me laugh, she had no idea that she had another LGBT child. She had too much pride, which made me want to shut her up. I grabbed my phone and started to record my mom, and that’s when I came out to her; her response wasn’t the best response. She asked a few questions and afterward switched to a different topic. Sometimes I do wish I came out to her in a teary-eyed heartfelt discussion, but her ego was showing, and it made me want to stomp on it. 10/10 would do again. 
 
2020 was the year of a lot of changes. I was no longer a wife, I lost the friend group that I had known since middle school. My depression and anxiety were at an all-time high, and the pandemic happened. I didn’t even bother to come out that year, and I’m glad I didn’t because I wasn’t in the headspace for it.
 
In 2021 I had transformed. My whole life was switched around. I was so sure of myself; I was making progress with my modeling and acting career, I made new friends, and I was able to explore my sexuality. It was great. That summer, during Pride Month, I finally came out. I remember having anxiety when I posted the story on Instagram and a post on Facebook. All of that went away when people started to message me about how they supported and are happy for me. I remember crying out of happiness in my room. It was a great day. I felt so proud and accomplished of myself. My mom and dad also talked to me and told me they are happy for me, and it was a heartfelt moment. 
 
Currently, in 2022, I feel so free! I was able to host my first ever LGBTQ+ event with Let’s Stay Creative. I’m in the healthiest relationship with my partner, who supports me. I’m doing everything that I put my mind to. I can say with a big smile that I am happy and I love myself. I worked so hard for this, and I’m so proud of myself to be where I’m at. 

Stephanie (she/her) is a 48-year-old businesswoman from Edinburg.

 

I am a 48-year-old female whose pronouns are she/her. I relocated to Edinburg from San Antonio 6 years ago along with my wife.

 

My coming out story is a positive one, although I know many are not. Despite acceptance from my parents, family members, and most of my friends, it is not lost on me that there are people whose coming out story ends in heartbreak, rejection, embarrassment, and disappointment.  I want to emphasize to others that there are an infinite number of ways in which someone can respond to your truth, but their response does not define who you are as an individual.  

 

I was about 32 years old when I asked my brother to meet me for lunch, which was out of the norm for our relationship, but I was already thinking that in case things went south, a public place would encourage civility. After we sat down, I just started talking. No thinking, no pausing, just talking. There was no need to procrastinate and give myself any opportunity to change my mind, so I said, “Thank you for meeting me. I wanted to tell you that I am in a serious, committed relationship with a woman, and I’m very happy.” Any fear I had was put to rest after he took a deep breath and said, “Well, I look forward to meeting her. You’re paying for lunch, right?” We both laughed, and I knew at that moment that we were going to be ok. Once we both relaxed, he asked me if I had told our parents. They were flying in from out of state that night for a two-week visit, so I planned on telling them but needed his support first. I think he felt honored to be the first person I came out to, and it gave me a greater sense of strength to come out to our parents, knowing I had his support.  

 

That evening, I met up with my parents at my brother’s house and nervously avoided the subject. I pulled my brother aside and told him I was ready but that I didn’t want him in the room because I didn’t know what their reaction would be. He told me he would go outside and water the grass to give me time and space but not to take too long because he didn’t really like watering the grass, and he wasn’t very good at it. 

 

When I told my parents I needed to talk to them about something, my dad immediately asked, “Is it your health?” When I told him it was not a health concern, he wrapped me up in his arms and said, “Well then, I feel better already. Whatever you have to tell us, we can handle.”  Not wanting to leave my brother outside for too long watering one patch of grass, I said, “I’ve met a woman, and we have gotten pretty serious in our relationship. I can’t tell you exactly what this means, but I know I’m happy and that we love each other a great deal.” My dad said, “It means you are both very lucky to have met someone to share your life with.”  

 

Again, I know not everyone is met with this level of acceptance, but I couldn’t have imagined the level of support I would receive from my family. My parents ended up joining a local chapter of PFLAG in their home state of Washington to gain a better understanding of how to navigate this unfamiliar territory as well as to help other parents and family members process the truths from their own loved ones.  

 

Everyone has a different story because everyone has a different collection of chapters that make up their story.  


Know who you are, and be that.




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