‘There’s something I need to tell you … I’m gay’

Kelly Petryszyn

Maroney led different life before coming out

Kayla Maroney was prepared for the worst.

A few weeks ago, she went home to tell her parents she was gay. She waited until Sunday evening to tell them.

As she walked to the living room where they were sitting, she was nervous. Her heart was racing. She had filled her pockets with tissues in case she cried.

She couldn’t do it the first time.

She sat down next to them and then retreated back to her room. Then with the encouragement of her best friend, she gave it a second try.

“There’s something I need to tell you,” she said. “I’m gay.”

“We sat down and talked about it,” the junior psychology major said. “There were some tears shed – by the end of it, there were hugs and ‘we still love you.'”

Maroney said she was afraid because she thought her parents would be shocked.

“I did a good job of hiding it,” she said. She was an athletic girly girl and felt she needed to stay consistent with her family. In order to accomplish this, Maroney would do her hair and makeup when she went home.

When people ask her how she knew she was gay, she explains it to them in terms of an adolescent’s game.

Maroney said she tells her friends to think back to middle school games of spin the bottle. The guys would always get the girls to kiss girls – she noticed this was her favorite part of the game. She then realized that other girls didn’t seem to enjoy it as much, and then it registered that it may not be normal to like it.

At first, she was scared of being judged. The only problem she has encountered is people making negative comments on Facebook. But people have also sent her messages that said they were happy for her.

She said she is more comfortable now and has finally come to terms with who she is.

“I’m happy with who I am, and I try to share it with people who want to share it with me,” she said.

Coming out week 2009

This is the fifth of a week-long series of students’ coming out stories.

Contact diversity reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].