Coming Out

My journey has reached a chapter of self-discovery, filling me with pride to share this experience with my family, friends, and people around the world.

I maintain a non-victimizing approach, always seeking to see the positive side, even amidst challenges. For this reason, I may find difficulty in expressing the right words for this article.

In 2023, I delved into meaningful reflections on my own essence, identifying fundamental issues shaping my identity. This process involved not only consultations with an exceptional psychologist but also the exploration of content related to Jungian psychology, deepening my understanding of myself.

My apprehension about embracing my gay identity, which constitutes a significant part of who I am, stemmed from the fear of embodying the stigma that I had long associated with this orientation. I feared becoming the gay person who, throughout life, I had known derogatorily – someone considered inferior, less valuable, a target for ridicule and controversy. This ingrained concept in my mind resulted from internalized assimilations and, ironically, the prejudice I myself had practiced, along with discriminatory expressions from close individuals who sought to belittle me or even engaged in recreational prejudice.

Since young, I was raised with the conviction that I was a heterosexual man, strong, proactive, and, despite being open-minded and different, still a man. Associating this concept with a gay identity seemed to shatter all beliefs about who I was and who I aspired to be in society. It was at that moment I realized I was internalizing homophobia, directed both at myself and others.

From that point, I began to embrace diversity within masculinity. Being a man is not limited to characteristics like being masculine, virile, effeminate, wearing boots and a leather belt, makeup, or painting nails. Being a man is simply being who you are, without criteria or scales determining how masculine someone is. Today, I understand that masculinity is just one aspect of the gender spectrum, an individual matter that each person has the right to define for themselves. If someone identifies as a man, no one has the right to challenge that self-definition.

I am a man with great pride in the person I have become, the experiences that have shaped my story, and the pains and victories I have faced. My identity as gay neither alters nor diminishes the definition I have of myself as a man. Even though society insists on disagreeing, making jokes, or perceiving me as less robust, I maintain an unshakeable inner strength. I am who I am, and there are no more questions to be asked within me.

I understand it won’t be easy. Support for my coming-out journey is not always as comprehensive as I had hoped. The initial steps were challenging, especially within the family and personally. However, after the initial turbulence, things settled, and today I am well and accompanied by incredible people. Surprisingly, the adversities I face strengthen my resilience and courage. This experience not only uplifts me but also empowers me to confidently proclaim to the world: ‘I AM GAY 📢📢📢.’

Having a bit of fun with the likely reaction to reading that quoted phrase, many may not fully grasp the immense sense of relief and satisfaction in stating it with such conviction. Throughout my years, I lived with phrases echoing incessantly in my mind, fears, crises, panic, feelings of inferiority, strangeness, difference, exclusion, and relentless internal questioning. To reach this day and witness the transformation of all that into a deep understanding of who I am represents relief intertwined with infinite pride.

Therefore, I no longer worry about my fate in society. I don’t care if family members don’t accept, if friends reject me, or if I lose opportunities because of my way of being. I see myself as a man, a person, indistinguishable from any other. My sexual orientation is just one aspect that determines what I do in my intimate moments. Those who don’t accept me for being gay cannot see the full picture that defines me. That is a problem that does not belong to me.

I hope these people discover the light that allows them to see others in their entirety, beyond sexual orientation, skin color, gender, physical limitations, and many other characteristics that make up the rich human diversity. Although they say not to expect anything from anyone, in this case, I hope, because it’s wonderful to embrace everyone and love people for who they are, for the contributions they offer to the world, and for the unique experiences that have shaped them.

Each of us is unique, with a distinct mark that influences the world and society. Connecting with diversity is enriching for everyone and everything. Diversity permeates humanity and everything around us – in nature, biology, physics, chemistry, history, geography, and countless other domains. Therefore, making space for human differences infuses more life and color into our own perspectives.

Thank you for following along to this point. Writing these words brings me immense satisfaction, and sharing a bit of my experience on the subject is significant to me.

I want to express special thanks to a friend who, even though a bit removed from this reality (as it’s not their own), made valuable contributions to my final journey. The inspiration for this text arose from a conversation I shared with them 🫶.

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Brenno de Moura 🏳️‍🌈

Software engineer with a passion for technology and a focus on declarative programming, experience in challenging projects and multidisciplinary teams