Everyone comes out differently.
Some people do it all at once, while others take years to get round to telling all of their nearest and dearest.
There are many reasons why waiting can make sense, but that feeling when you finally take the step you’ve been dreading – especially if nothing falls apart – is wonderful.
That’s exactly what one woman felt when she came out to her parents – by revealing that she had had a girlfriend for three years.
“Finally open about my 3 year relationship to my family,” she wrote on Reddit, above a picture of the adorable couple. “100% out of the closet! So free.”
The photo, which was taken at events venue Macaluso’s in New Jersey, received more than 19,000 upvotes and led to an outpouring of joy from commenters.
Speaking to PinkNews, she recounted the stress of finally coming out to her parents.
Asked how she felt, she said: “During: anxiety through the roof.
“After: Free. I had been hiding who I was from them for waaaaay too long so it just feels odd to not have to lie anymore.”
She added: “They reassured me they still loved me but neither of them are enthusiastic or joining PFLAG anytime soon lol.”
On Reddit, she added: “My dad was the worst and says maybe my depression and mental health issues I’ve been having lately are because of ‘my lifestyle choice’ but ultimately he said he loves me and he’ll have to learn to deal and get over it. (His words).”
But, she said, this had not affected the way she sees herself.
“The only choice I’d ever be voluntarily making is denying who I am and settling down with a man to make them happy,” she said.
“My real identity isn’t a choice (nor the cause of my mental health issues).”
She added: “I hope they come around eventually. Love is love!”
Lying for so long had taken a toll on her, she told PinkNews.
More from PinkNews
|Stars You Didn't Know Were Gay Or Bisexual||The Stars You Didn’t Know Have An LGBT Sibling||The Straight Stars Who Went Gay For Pay|
“It was awful,” she said. “I lied to my mum constantly about my girlfriend being my best friend, but I wasn’t financially independent, so I didn’t wanna risk coming out and being cut off.
“My girlfriend has been out so her family always knew about us and they were a great support system – it was like having a second family.”
And the couple had a lovely story to go with their cute picture, as she explained.
“We had been following each other on Tumblr since high school and then years later came across each other on a dating site (fate!) and recognised each other from years back and met up in the city for a date,” she said.
“She really is a fairytale come true – not to say we don’t have our bad days, but I’m very lucky.”
Some people wrote that the photo reminded them of Rosa and Amy from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which delighted her.
“Omg I love it!!” she said. “We’re both huge fans of the show so it was the best compliment 😍.”
And in response to hateful comments left below the photo, she wrote: “We’re lesbians and we’re gonna have kids and it will be wonderful.”
So that’s that, then.