In Honor of #NationalComingOutDay , I wanted to share the words and experiences of a few of my queer sisters and fellow femmes. Here, we talk about what “Coming Out” means to us.


“My lesson is: Don’t wait to live your life out loud.  The world needs you to shine as your full self.”

  • Portia Richae, L.A. Acupuncturist

I’m Candice, and this is my coming out story.

My coming out story is one of betrayal, shame, and beauty.  

I grew never having the words to describe and identify who I am…other than the words that I was given. I was an obedient daughter, loving sister, and dedicated child of God…and with those labels, I lived according to the rules that came with them.

At 20, my life changed  I’d moved to Houston, away from anyone who knew me. I’d left everything that I knew, and promised myself that with this move, I would create a life that I was happy to live.

Within my first year of living in Houston, I met and fell in love with my first girlfriend. While working at a mall, she walked into my store and I couldn’t help but to be in her face.  We fell hard and fast, and lasted for nearly three years. But I was only “out” in Texas…news of my lesbianism didn’t reach my parents until Thanksgiving of 2015.  I was 25 years old, newlywed but freshly separated from my wife.

In a moment of frustration, my ex-wife connected my father via FB, introducing herself as my soon-to-be ex-wife.  She shared that he should reach out to me because we were going through some hard times and she felt like I needed my estranged family’s support. Within the hour, both of my parents called to find out what was going on. My mother began by asking if everything was okay in Houston, and if I was being harrassed. I was working Black Friday at Macy’s and was not in the mood for anything, and I’d received a cryptic apology text from my ex letting me know she’d done something foul.

The next few weeks and months were a blur. My parents expressed their “concerns” with my lifestyle, and I learned to stop caring. 

That was 4 years ago… and since then,  I’ve committed to never hiding any part of myself for acceptance.  Although an ugly experience, I’m absolutely grateful for the gift of authenticity and truth that it provided.

  • Candice, Mental Health and Holistic Care Advocate


“My mom was the most difficult person to come out to. Throughout my childhood, she said things that made it clear that she didn’t support homosexuality. So when I first started questioning my sexuality I waited to say anything until I was totally sure and confident in my truth. I ended up coming out to my mom on the day I moved out of the house. My car was packed, my support network was on standby, and I had a safe new home waiting for me. I was prepared to lose my relationship with both parents if it came down to it. I think it came as a shock when I finally told her. She asked some common (and ignorant) questions, promised to tell my dad for me, and sent me on my way. Over the next few weeks my mother and I had a lot of heated conversations: she’d refer to her upbringing in the Southern Baptist Church and I’d explain that those beliefs–and her decision to share them with me–were offensive. At one point, I stopped taking her calls. I’ve been out for 10 years now and our relationship.”

  • Sondra Rose, writer

Coming out, for me has always had a different meaning.  

I’ve always existed in a space where it was important to me to always show up  as my authentic self.  

Throughout my journey, I rarely saw anyone like me, and it was important to stand and life in my truth.  

It was never a choice, or an option.  

No, it was something deeper; engrained in the fabric of my very being.  

I will treat this #NationalComingOutDay like every other day, and continue to come out, show up, and show out like the bad bitch I am.

  • Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri, writer/blogger