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A Millennial Lesbian’s Coming Out Story

A college student shares her story, with pride.


Jessica Mahmoud

I’m Jessica, my pronouns are 'she', 'her', 'hers', and I’m a lesbian. I’m also a 21-year old college student studying Journalism with a minor in LGBTQ Studies. I think my coming out story is pretty unique, and as someone who wants to be an activist, I love sharing my personal stories with others. Here’s my coming out story.

Well to start off, I didn’t come out until college, but I thought about my identity for a long time. I think the show South of Nowhere planted the idea of liking girls into my head, back in 7th grade. For years I questioned if I was gay and always felt really guilty about the possibility that I might be. For whatever reason it felt like, it was a bad thing, even though I don’t come from a religious family.

Around that time in middle school, I confided in a friend about it and I think it kind of scared her off. My mom told me that her mom said she didn’t want to be my friend anymore, so she kind of learned about it then. I think she said something like she didn’t think I was gay, saying how they have a harder life, which I think mentally stuck with me and made me feel that my mom wouldn’t accept me.

From then on, and up until about the fall semester of my sophomore year of college, thoughts about my sexuality and the guilt of not knowing, and the possibility of being gay came and went. Sometimes it wouldn’t bother me at all, but eventually, at times when the topic came up, so would all my thoughts about my own identity. In the meantime, I was not seeking out lovers of any gender.

In the fall of my sophomore year, I realized I should stop consulting my friends and came out to my mom about being curious about my sexuality. It was a life-changing conversation! She was really supportive and it meant the world to me.

Then, in the spring, I decided go to the professionals and got involved in my school’s LGBTQ Center, and it was also life changing. I was able to really find a community and support system that I needed in questioning my identity. It was also really great to feel confident in identifying as questioning because I still really wasn’t sure. At this time, I still wasn’t in relationships or “experimenting.” Eventually, though, I realized that I didn’t need a sexual or romantic experience with anyone to know my identity, and that April I came out as lesbian. I had a peer mentor in the LGBTQ Center and she was the first person I came out to, in the diner we have on campus. I told my mom that night and she said something like, “I know” because I had told her I was leaning towards lesbian instead of bisexual or something more broad.

That said, I don’t think lesbian should be a “boxed” term. We live in a world full of all different genders and I think that the lesbian identity can be broad too. My first kiss, just in April, was from someone who is nonbinary, but I don’t feel that it means I can’t identify as lesbian anymore, because it’s my identity.

Coming out and sharing any queer sexual or gender identity can be really scary, but it’s always great when things work out because, in the end, love knows no gender, and love is love.

About the author:

Jessica Mahmoud refers to herself as Her / Herself. You can read her blog here and follow her on social media on Facebook and Twitter @coloritqueer

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