“I was homophobic against myself.”
The biggest “coming out” I’ve ever had to do was probably to myself. It was a really long period of time, too. When I got to high school, our family already had an Internet connection, but back then I couldn’t understand why I was so scared to even look up any information related to LGBT. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a good kid, always obedient and doing the “proper” thing. That might be why when I realized I was deviating from that “perfection”, I went into crisis. I couldn’t believe I would ever be that way.
And another thing, for me, the issue of sexuality was difficult to accept because nobody around me was like that. If there were any appearances on television, LGBT people were ridiculed or worse, condemned. Basically, neither scenario left any good impression on me, and for a long time, I denied being like them. I was homophobic against myself; I called myself names like “perverted” or “not normal.” I held on to the belief that no one can ever love or accept me, and that one day I would deny my own needs and marry a man like “normal.”
I remembered my mental health at the time was terrible. I felt overwhelmed beyond what I could handle. So one night, I decided to text my best friend and come out, because if I didn’t say it out loud, I was gonna go crazy. This happened a while ago so I couldn’t remember how they responded specifically; all I could remember was them saying “I understand, it’ll be okay,” with a nonchalant attitude so out of character. I talked and they listened, sometimes they would respond but most of the time they didn’t say a word. What I needed most at the time was for them not to react too strongly. They were my lifevest; I can’t imagine what my life would be without them.
Rồi Sẽ Ổn Thôi (“Gonna Be Alright”) is a project that collects coming out stories from the LGBTIQ+ community and their loved ones in Việt Nam. To find out more details or to read more stories from the project, please visit our official social media site on Instagram at ComingOutVN.