real life

“I made a decision to leave the terrible darkness.” When Laura realised she was gay, her whole life changed.

I call this story my ‘long-drawn-out gay-realisation’, because I’m only a relatively recent “out” member of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Hi, my name is Laura, and I am a gay woman. 

Though I don’t suppose many people know this about me, other than my partner, because when I came out originally, I came out as bisexual.

The answer to why I decided to come out as bi is convoluted and difficult to articulate, much like myself. 

The best way I can describe it is to say I was attempting to ‘soften the blow’ to those around me, and to myself. I didn’t completely understand my sexuality at the time, so saying I was bi felt the most valid.

The reality is that just as I struggle to understand my entire identity, I have struggled to understand my sexuality.

Listen to The Spill Social Media Producer Laura Koefoed talk about Hollywood's new problem with queerness.

Now that I know I’m gay, it’s hard to understand why I didn’t recognise it earlier. 

Why it had always been so hard for me to understand my sexuality, when it should have been as simple as asking myself ‘who are you attracted to’?

My partner and I laugh regularly at how I didn’t know I was gay. With my rainbows, crystals, passion for blazers, and naked women tattooed all over me… there were some pretty stereotypical indicators.


I’m now almost 29, and I only started to come out properly at the age of 27, following years of experimenting, failed heterosexual relationships, and therapy. 

I say that I have only just started to come out because it has been quite a slow process, and I am still in the midst of it. 

Being what is known as a ‘femme’ gay woman, I am inadvertently ‘straight-passing’ to many people, so my coming out might be perpetual — until people meet my female partner.

I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand why it took me so long to understand my own sexuality. 

Though, after reminiscing about my life with my newfound self-awareness, here are some of the reasons I have come up with.

1. Religious education

I don’t blame my parents for sending me to a religious school, nor do I want this to be an attack against any religion — this is simply my own experience. 

Seeing love and sex as purely between a male and a female throughout my formative years made me feel strongly that this was ‘meant’ to be my path too. 

Growing up, I had little exposure to the LGBT community, so consequently, my own feelings were unfamiliar and more than slightly uncomfortable.


2. Lack of confidence

When you’re used to dating one sex, it’s damn daunting to begin dating the other. 

Just as I have taken leaps in my career, I had to do this with dating — and boy oh boy, was it terrifying.

You are petrified of stepping so far out of your comfort zone that you’ll have no idea what you’re doing. On top of this, you are plagued with fear that the gorgeous woman you end up on a date with will say “hell no”.

Then run off as soon as she finds out she is one of the very few women you have ever been on a date with. 

Thus, the cycle of insecurity and staying closeted continues.


3. Fear of rejection

Directly stemming from the above point, we’re all constantly searching for a sense of belonging. 

To come out to family and friends, or even to yourself, and then be rejected would feel devastating. This fear of rejection is a significant reason why I did not admit my own sexuality to myself for so long.

“Hi, my name is Laura, and I am a gay woman. Though I don’t suppose many people know this about me, other than my partner, because when I came out originally, I came out as bisexual.” Image: Supplied. 


4. Baggage

As a teenager, I fell down a dark rabbit hole. When you fall down such a hole, you become a lost soul surrounded by the same.

 What came with this state of being lost was a feeling of worthlessness, leading to experiences of mistreatment, cheating, and encounters with the opposite sex that were not entirely consensual.

It's important to note that this trauma made it more difficult for me to understand which feelings were caused by trauma, and which feelings were there due to my sexuality.

There is a beautiful rainbow light at the end of the (metaphorical) tunnel though!

For me to come out, it took incredible amounts of work, self-growth, therapy, and time.

There was a moment in my life when I was incredibly miserable and I’d cry regularly, to the point of being unable to work. Sprinkling the edges of my misery were sparks of anger brought on by fear and desperation. 

I remember the exact moment, in one of my bouts of hysteria, that I made the very conscious decision to heave myself out of the terrible darkness that consumed me. 

And begin piecing myself back together. 

On that day, nothing dramatic changed, but every single day after that, I kept moving forward one step at a time. 


I was booking medical appointments, beginning my intensive therapy, shedding old friendships which no longer served me, cutting out alcohol (it has caused me more trouble than good), and learning how to love myself.

Each day I was becoming more self-aware, learning how to cope with life, and how to, ultimately, accept who I was.

I can now gladly say that I am in a better place. 

I make many mistakes and still have some pretty rough days. I’m still going to therapy. I still cry sometimes, drink occasionally, and regret it afterward.

Making mistakes means I’m learning, and having some rough days means I have great days in between. I have worked hard enough to be in a place where I am mostly happy to be freely me, and it makes every single moment worth it.

I hope my story offers courage and reassurance to those still trapped in their own darkness.

I’m not a trained therapist by any means and cannot offer you a quick solution — but I can tell you that you are not alone.

I am one of many who are here with you, and I support you.

Laura Koefoed is Mamamia's Social Media Producer, you can follow her on Instagram.

Image: Supplied.