Dani Marie White

Some people come out. Others are pushed out. My mother sort of...walked in. I was 14 years old, a freshman in high school. I had told my mother some lie about how a girl I was secretly interested in needed to sleepover so we could work on a school project. I was not the kind of kid who lied or disobeyed my parents, in fact, I had never gotten into trouble ever, so there was no reason to doubt I was telling the truth. But I wasn’t. And no pun intended but...the truth always comes out.
Awkward. Embarrassing. And more awkward. Those are the only words that could adequately describe that moment. Followed by a lot of yelling. A lot of questions. And surprising, a lot of relief. Once my mother found out that I was queer. I didn’t care who knew. I came out to my father, friends, and the school. There was nothing to hide anymore. The biggest war had begun.
The next couple of years of my life were difficult, to say the least. I felt isolated from my family. I felt lost and misunderstood and resorted a lot to creating family amongst individuals who weren’t the greatest influences. I lost my mother’s trust and I’m sure hurt a lot of the people around me. When I turned 16, I realized that although my mother didn’t accept me, I still needed to be respectful or her as my mother and of myself. I started to gain her trust back and by the time I had turned 17 things were completely different. It was like I had never came out. Literally.
For the next 2 years, my obvious queerness was the big purple elephant in the room. Everyone knew about it, everyone could see it but no one talked about it, especially my mother. Although, arguments over random situations had clear undertones of “misgaystanding”. This state of silence or indirect silence, however, was much more favorable than the previous years of chaos. But it was also difficult. I love my mother and I wanted her to be proud of me. I wanted her to meddle in my love life and ask me how all of my queer activism was going. But the past 5 years had convinced that none of that was going to happen. And I had begun to picture the rest of my life without my mother. That was until this past summer when I decided to break the silence and history and tell my mother about my current partner Sara. When I did...she apologized...for my feelings of isolation and hurt. She expressed interest in getting to know Sara and how she is/will always be proud of me and the things that I accomplish. That moment has changed my entire life in ways that I can’t even begin to express.
For those struggling like I did. For those who feel alone. For those who just want to be who they are. It sounds cheesy, it appears impossible, it seems unreal but it does get better.