I officially came out to my family and friends in 2017, right around college graduation. I didn’t know how to do it, what to say. I thought it would be easiest to come out to my friends that I know are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Well, I was right. They welcomed me with open arms, some told me they weren’t surprised, others told me I “played the role well”. Time passed and I finally went home after graduation and I was meeting up with my mom and brother again. I started crying to my mom before talking to her. She asked me what was wrong and I told her I was scared. I told her I was talking to a girl and I rather be with girls than with guys.
My mom started to cry and felt honored that I approached her to talk to her in person. She hugged me and cried with me and she continued to tell me how proud she was. My brother approached not long after asking what was going on. I told him. His response was my favorite. He said, “I knew that since the day you were born!” Time went passed and I kept talking to this girl and eventually brought her to a big family party for my mom, she met EVERYONE. That was the day my whole family found out. They welcomed her and loved her like she was part of the family. All my friends acted surprised when I knew they weren’t. I was fully loved and welcomed and didn’t lose anyone like I thought I would.
The people I consider my second parents had a hard time when their son game out, so coming out to them was a nightmare for me. They continued to call me their daughter and wasn’t phased. Everyone kept saying, as long as you are happy. My coming out story is very successful and happy unlike others. But I will always have a heartthrob when it comes to my full story. My father passed away in the summer of 2014, before I came out. I was Daddy’s little girl. The day I came out, I cried for hours. Wondering if he always knew, wondering if he would accept me, wondering if he’d love my girlfriend just as much as the rest of the family. I will never feel like I have full acceptance as a Lesbian because one of the biggest and most important people in my life don’t know. I know he would want me happy, but not being able to talk to him, hug him, and tell him will always kill me deep down inside.
I love my life, I love the people in my life, but the most important acceptance to me was always my father. He loved my successes and I always thrived to blow away expectations, which makes me think, would be coming out blow his expectations away? I sit here everyday with those thoughts in my head. It won’t change who I am. I will continue to be me, Whitney Redmond. But it will always haunt me. Would he have still walked me down the aisle, even if I was walking toward a girl? Would he let me keep his last name and give a girl the honor of being a Redmond? Would he have loved her like a daughter just like how he loves me? Having to tell my significant other that they will never meet my father hurts and breaks me inside, but I have hope that he’s looking over and is proud of who I have become. Proud of my confidence, proud of my successes, and proud to finally see me smile again. RIP Wayne A Redmond Sr.