A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Coming Out Series Part 3: When Monsters Don’t Exist

A student recounts her experience of being afraid to come out, only to realize she had support all along
Photos courtesy of Alexia Flores

This is the third part of SAC.Media’s coming out series. Read the second part here.


Alexia Flores, 23 and an English major at Mt. SAC, recalls her experience of coming out after feeling fearful for years of revealing her true identity.

“I first realized I had an attraction to girls when I was nine years old. I had a bunch of girlfriends, and I thought they were so pretty—it would definitely be nice to kiss them,” Flores said. “I knew it was a weird thought; it’s not something I should share.”

At the time, Flores did not think anything more of it, and as time went on, she learned a lot about herself. In high school, she had her first girlfriend and afterwards dated a boy.

“It was really confusing,” Flores recalled.

To Flores, high school is hard enough for teenagers as it is, but for someone who has conflicting feelings and insecurity in their identity, it can be extremely difficult to have the motivation to be transparent. It is one thing to feel dismissed by peers, but without family support, it can be extremely difficult to navigate through life. This was a concern for Flores.

Flores was 20 when she found herself sitting in a human sexuality class reflecting on her identity. It was not long before students in the class were learning about how people identify themselves, and this seemingly allowed them to come to terms with their own identities. Naturally, people started sharing their stories about themselves, their stories and how they identify.

Flores, inspired by her peers, decided to come forward herself. At the time, she wasn’t even out to her friends.

“I raised my hand and I started sharing,” Flores said. “I haven’t been out yet, but hearing all that pushed me.”

That same day, Flores rushed herself to her mother’s workplace and asked her to come outside. Before her mom could reach her, Flores started crying in her car.

“Why are you crying?” Flores’ mom said.

“I just struggled to get the words out.” Flores said. “Then I told her and she kept it serious about it. And she said ‘so what?’”

Her mother’s relaxed reaction came as a shock to Flores, who kept these thoughts and feelings to herself for years. Flores asked her mother to tell her sister, and sure enough, she was welcoming and accepting as well.

“I was scared of nothing. They were so accepting of it and were totally fine with me embracing this thing I was scared of this whole time.” Flores said.

Over a year later, Flores was going to meet with her girlfriend in New York. This would be her first time on a plane and her first time traveling far. Flores felt that she needed to be transparent with her father before she left and scrambled just enough courage to send him a quick message before she started her shift at work.

“I threw my phone. I didn’t even want to see it. He is one to make jokes without thinking,” Flores said. “He gave me a response I never thought he would give me.”

He responded two minutes later saying, “That’s great mija. I love you so much. Don’t ever think I wouldn’t like you like that.” He was excited to meet her girlfriend.

“I had the best shift ever,” Flores recalled.

Flores explained that she had seen people on TV being condemned for being gay, which fueled her expectations of coming out.

“I put too much of that in my head thinking that is what my family embodied,” she said.

The overwhelming support from her family was a big help in becoming comfortable with herself. Before Flores came out, she was stuck keeping her feelings to herself. Keeping it secret and acting as if these feelings did not exist had an impact on her everyday life and transparency with herself.

“I withheld it for so long, for other peoples plausible discomfort, over my own.” Flores said. “I was not being truthful with myself.”

When it comes down to labels, Flores prefers to stay away from them. She has an admirable confidence in herself when it comes to who she is. She feels validated by her family and friends support, and she finds comfort in knowing she can fearlessly embrace who she is.

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