Coming Out with Daniel Taranto
Name: Daniel Taranto
Location: Sydney NSW
Identity/Gender: Gay Male
When did you first realize your identity? and what was the story behind it?
I first started to notice men when I started at an all boys school from year 7 to 10 (2001-2004). Realized that I was not attracted at all to women. Being in an all boys catholic school, I had to hide it and hope it was just a phase.
Was there someone who helped you to come out or given you some advice to help you in the coming out process? Or did you go through it all by yourself? Or were you outed by someone?
I was alone in coming out. No-one ever knew that I'm gay or what i was going through.
Who did you come out to first and what was their reaction? Was it positive or negative? Did you plan the whole thing or was it impromptu? What made you choose to tell that person?
I first came out to mum. I planned for many, many days on how I would tell her. Something inside me clicked one morning and I just had to get it over and done with. Her reaction was priceless. I chose to tell mum first because she always came to me whenever she had a problem.
How did you feel after coming out? What happened? Do you remember what were the exact words that you said when you came out? Was the subsequent coming out sessions easier or harder than the first?
Coming out was like having the world lifted off my shoulders. I was way too scared to tell mum face to face. So on the morning, i wrote a quick note. “Hey mum, you’re probably wondering why I don’t have a girlfriend yet or why I’m not giving you grandchildren. Well surprise, I’m gay”. I folded the piece of paper, left it on the steering wheel of her car and rushed off to work awaiting my phone to
ring. No call, however a message came through my phone. she said “I know.” Somehow she always knew and didn’t care. Coming out to people became easier and easier. Not that i care if people know or not… just my family.
Since coming out, how has it affected your life?
Coming out has certainly made my life a little easier to be comfortable with who I am. Family and friends don’t see me any different. I immediately lost contact with a few people who i thought were friends, but gained so much more. I’m sure my work colleagues know, but that’s my work life, i keep that separate from private life.
What does being out mean to you?
Coming out has told me to never hold back, never lie to myself. It has given me confidence. Being a blue collar (some call butch) guy. I’ve never been afraid to stand up to negative people. Now even more so that i have my family behind me.
What positive message would you say or give to someone who is wanting to come out or still in the closet?
Take your time, you’ll know when you’re ready. Start by telling your family or your best friend, make sure you have a back up plan should anything not go the way you intend it to. You don’t have to do it face to face, Just a simple letter or even a text message. The world will be lifted off your shoulders the moment you do. You will always have people out there who love and support you no matter what.