So… This is Mpumi, and I’ve been meaning to write this article to share my ‘coming out’ story.
It isn’t so much a coming out story because I didn’t plan it. See, I didn’t have to sit my family down and have the dreaded ‘I’m gay’ moment because I actually didn’t know whether I was lesbian or bi-sexual at the time.
After dating guys all my life (with the occasional kissing girls’ moments), I met someone and quickly fell in love with her. I fell in love with her and not her sexuality.
We met on the 04th of January 2018 and by March we were already living together (haha). Boipelo and I spent a lot of time together and had quite a few romantic picnics. On Valentine’s Day that year, I decided to post one of them on my IG. Haha! I remember how my colleagues reacted. I think it was a combination of ‘what’s happening here?’ and ‘wait… is she lesbian?’ They were chilled though, it was just the curiosity and shock, I guess.
So that was my first step. And I say first step, because it still wasn’t clear to everybody (not that it needed to be). Some of my friends still had no clue. They saw a cute video and just liked it.
After a couple of months, I decided to take part in a makeover feature with Essentials magazine. With the makeover came an article about me, of course. And that’s when I came out to the country – including my family.
The magazine article stated that I was living with my girlfriend – nothing much. But I guess it was enough to confirm my sexuality to everyone.
My cousin, Thuli, called me the day the article came out because her mom had bought the magazine – not knowing what she would find inside LOL. My aunt immediately called my mom and told her what she had read, then my mom called me. I didn’t answer because I actually didn’t know what I was going to say to her. My mom and I have a weird relationship. We don’t usually talk about relationships, love and that kind of thing. We’re close in our own way, which works for me. But I don’t think she even knew what she was going to say or ask me about this situation, hence she only tried to call me once.
The next time I saw her was at my late brother’s msebenzi, so the whole family was there – Boipelo as well. Oh! I didn’t mention that they all knew Boipelo. Of course, not as my girlfriend, they assumed she was my friend. I always took her with when I went home. So, they saw Boipelo for the first as my girlfriend that day. Luckily, they were cool with everything. My other cousin, Cleo, even overheard them saying, ‘as long as she’s happy’. How sweet!
And that is when I would say I came out to everyone. I am very lucky to have a family that accepted my decision to live the life I want with absolutely no judgement. They allowed me to become who I wanted to be and live my truth.