I'm so genuinely happy for you lol
things can only get better from here.
As for me, I never really traditionally came out. Rumours circulate around high school like fuck if you're not careful with your actions/what you do and that's basically what happened with me. It didn't help that they're really judgmental and I was never on most people's good side anyway. However, majority of them were skeptical and were pretty sure I was just bicurious or something, "didn't really get that vibe" from me apparently, but it still killed me that I was continually the talk of the cohort and definitely not in a good way (I barely had any friends...).
I'm pretty lucky in some ways though. There were a few other gays in my cohort and pretty popular so I didn't really get the shits to my face about being gay or anything, but boy... from what I heard, quite harsh things were said, like for example, "If he ever looks at me again, I'm going to punch his fucking face" and so on. Also I'm pretty lucky that despite most of the hostiliy, I still had amazing friends I could always count on, and I'm lucky that by the time the final year of HS came around, everyone was much more open minded, let go of trivial shit from back in the earlier years and the entire cohort was just like one big family and so coping wasn't too bad. I'd even go as far to say that the final year was fun?
I think all the rumours and drama made me a much tougher person and helped the coming out process much easier... I guess it just gave me the excuse to stop hiding? I didn't do the whole dramatic coming out thing though, like announcing out of nowhere etc. but if someone asked if I have/had a gf or if I'm really gay then I'd just tell them the truth.
Anyway, I'm heading into second year uni this coming March and I have to say, life has been simply amazing. Things get so much better highschool. 2011 was honestly the best year of my life; I've met the most amazing people who accept me for who I am, and kept a strong bond with my closest of highschool friends. These amazing people are the reason why I don't feel the need to hide my identity can be myself every day.
Coming out was a gradual and long process, but it's really worth it. Everyone from high school and uni knows I'm gay. Came out to my cousins and brother some time last year as well and I'm still tight, if not tighter, with them as ever. Only person I'm not out to that actually matter are my parents; my dad is EXTREMELY religious, and I remember back like 5-6 years ago, my mum telling me she had a dream about my brother being gay and she bawled her eyes out or something so... I'm not coming out to them until I'm finanancially stable and have moved out.
Hmmm... sorry for rambling on with so much irrelevant details (honestly it would've been like 3x longer but I cut it down rofl). I tend to do this when I'm typing a very personal post.