A reader writes:
I wanted to respond to your post regarding the necessity of coming out. I came out to my mom during my first year of law school after falling in love with a wonderful man. Being from a Catholic and Latin American background, she did not take it very well. She wanted to put me in reparative therapy and was extremely verbally abusive until I was finally forced to move out of my home during my final week of exams.
As you can imagine, I did terribly that semester. I had to sleep in my car and on friends’ couches until I was able to figure out whether to stay in law school or quit. I decided to finish school, and I recently graduated. But bad grades in my first year of law school severely limited my job employment opportunities as an attorney. Fortunately, I have been able to rely on my computer science skills from college and have landed a well-paying job in the legal technology field. However, had I never come out to my mom, I am pretty sure I would have received excellent grades and had a successful career as an attorney.
I urge young people that are in still reliant on their parents to hold off coming out until they become financially independent. Unless you have family support, the consequences of coming out can be devastating. I was fortunate to have friends and a great boyfriend that gave me the support I needed to finish school and figure out who I was. I can only imagine where I would be without them.
I am glad that I am out and I am proud to be gay. I do not regret one bit my decision, but I wish I had not been in such a vulnerable situation. I just speak from my own personal experience that often the price of being honest at a young age may be too high a price for some of us to pay.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.