I could not be more proud. As I open snapchats, and scroll down my Facebook and Instagram feeds, I find myself blubbering in a pile of my own happy tears. Everyone is covered in rainbows, people are coming out, and allies are more present than ever. Yesterday, I came out to my family. I walked into the kitchen where my mother was making breakfast; bacon and eggs. Perfect. It gave me a chance to suggest sitting at the table for breakfast. They talked politics; gay marriage and foreign affairs.

I had been planning on telling them the day before. My brother had just come home from studying in the Netherlands, and gay marriage had just been legalized in all states. Even after sneaking a few gulps of Rosé, wine, and a cocktail at dinner, the words were not coming out. I was not coming out.

An hour later, my eggs were still on my plate. The conversation proceeded from politics to music. The chance to mention that I could potentially marry a woman in any state flew by. My heart was beating out of my chest, my eyes were tearing up, and my hands were shaking. It was as if I were a pulsing heart without a voice to speak. “This weekend…,” I began, but my brother hushed me to listen to the song.

What was I so worried about? Was it that they may not take me seriously? Perhaps it was that I kept my gay self, my gay world hidden from them for so long. After all, it is a part of myself and my life that I was introducing to the people I care most about. Perhaps they would conclude that it is “trendy”. Perhaps they think I am confused, experimenting, or just being an open-minded female.

“This weekend, I am going to Pride, because I like girls.” I finally spit it out. My older brother offered a bland “Okay,” and my father asked me if it was a big announcement. Overwhelming emotions pulled me to my room. I walked directly to my mirror and looked myself in the eyes, calmed my shaking, then texted my friend, who had just come out that morning, with a “me too!” and a “I did it!” I overheard my mother ask, “Is that all?” then she requested that I exit my safe haven to discuss. “I’m changing out of my towel,” I managed, so I changed.

Once I joined my family in the living room. We discussed labels, gender roles, heteronormativity, and of course my identity. They searched for a label. My father told me he was not surprised because I am a young woman who has not mentioned a guy for an entire year. I am forever thankful for my rock of a father’s reaction. A hug later, nothing has changed and I am beautiful.

Yesterday, I went to the Dyke march. Today, I went to Pride. Because I came out to my parents, I was able to feel complete, and therefore all of me was there. I am no longer hidden and I am no longer hiding. I screamed, yelled, hollered, and danced. I am here! Due to social media, I could see how strongly the LGBTQIA+ community is supported. At celebrations and gatherings, I can feel both meanings of the word gay. I left yesterday thinking about how overwhelmingly stunning the love and beauty that the gay community brings to the world is. I am baffled by the efforts people commit to blinding their children and themselves from it. It is all just love and happiness. The only choice to be made here is whether or not you choose the happy path, and I chose it.

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