Tell us about your experiences with weight management. Take our survey!

Gray rays of light pass through a man's silhouette and turn into a rainbow.

NMOSD Helped Me Come Out

Being diagnosed with a rare disease, NMOSD, helped me come out. It’s June so that means it’s pride month, and during pride month we take the time to celebrate those living in their truest and most honest capacity. That was something I had envied about the LGBTQIA plus community for years.

It was hard to understand how people could be so open with such an uncomfortable topic. I always knew that I didn’t identify with being heterosexual, but never felt the courage to completely change my lifestyle and what was comfortable to be honest with myself.

Living with a rare disease

I was diagnosed with NMOSD in 2017 and with that came a lot of speaking up for myself and sharing my honest feelings when it came to living my life with a rare disease. But I felt like I was still lying to myself into those around me, or the men I have dated because I wasn’t being 100 percent authentic.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I had always liked women from a very early age. Due to society, beliefs, and my peers' negative thinking about queer people, I held it in. In school, I secretly dated women and knew deep down that eventually I would end up with a woman.

It wasn’t until I was in therapy after being diagnosed with NMOSD and I was plagued with the question: Do you think you’re living as your bona fide self?

I responded in a soft hollow whisper and said no, but didn’t understand what about me wasn’t being genuine.

Learning what serves me

I was constantly fighting to be heard by my doctors, my friends and my family about the NMOSD symptoms I was experiencing. If I can be honest about the most vulnerable aspects of my life on the Internet such as bowel and bladder dysfunction, I shouldn’t be afraid to tell those around me that I am a lesbian.

I wasn’t happy living 90% true to myself. But I also didn’t feel the need to make a huge announcement about the life that I want to live.

I’ve always thought of coming out as such a powerful thing, however, I don’t believe for me that is how I wanted to showcase my sexuality to the world. After being diagnosed I was called everything from a liar to “a waste of medical resources”. So in that, I was given the gift of not caring what other people thought about me and my life. With sharing so much of my story online and with random doctors all over the country I learned to shut out comments that don’t serve me.

button Linking to registering

Empowerment with NMOSD

NMOSD empowered me in so many ways that I didn’t even realize.

Until one day, I openly started dating a girl and didn’t have a single care in my body.  it was the first time in my life I felt genuine love that didn’t need to be hidden. Without being diagnosed, I honestly don’t think that I would’ve had the strength to come out, face adversity and continue to love openly.

The woman I am now is so proud to be a lesbian regardless, how others may feel about it. Unfortunately, there are people in every corner of the world that will always have a hatred for people that are queer, even if they have a rare disease themselves. That was one of the main reasons that I wanted to keep this part of me private.

But I always go back to the saying “If I can help one person with my journey in life then I have done my job.”

And I’m thankful for NMOSD showing me that.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Neuromyelitis-Optica.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.