Sunday, 17 July 2011

Coming Out? Let me count the ways....




Coming out to my first friend was easy because it just happened with no malice aforethought. We were talking down the street and he wanted to know why I would not date the divorcee who lived next door to me.  It just came out - kind of like me, "after 10 years of knowing me, haven't you figured it out?  I'm gay!".  His response was, "well... that explains a lot. I'm happy for you".

Coming out to my daughter was even easier.  She asked, "... you're gay, aren't you?..." to which I simply answered "yes".

My son was different.  He wanted to negotiate it.  "How about we keep that part of your life separate from your relationship with me?".  I wasn't stepping one foot out of the closet and then stepping back it at his convenience! I was completely coming out, so I told him, "No... this is me, it's my life and I'm not changing it for you or anyone. You'll just have to accept me for me."

The euphoria of finally coming out and telling people wasn't always met with the surprise that I thought it should.  When I decided to tell a co-worker, I went into his office, closed the door and said,"I'm about to tell you something and before I do, I want you to know I'm the same man I was before I told you. . . so, here goes: I'm gay."  Without missing a beat he said, "No surprise there", which surprised me because I'm not a flamer, I'm just a regular guy.  He then went on to say, "You know, I was talking to my wife the other day and I told her that I hoped you'd wake up one day and realize you're gay. I am really happy for you, buddy."

Another co-worker was relating some outrageous homophobic thing our boss had said to which I responded, "I wonder if he'd say that if he knew I was gay."  She just nodded, smiled and said she was happy for me.

When I told my sister, she just looked at me and said, "We should have had this talk years ago".

I came out to other friends when they asked about my children.  I'd lead with "My son doesn't appreciate having a gay dad."  It always opened up a wonderful dialogue.

The above happened over a 4 year period.  During that time I met, fell in love and have been happy partnered for 3 of those 4 years.  So the last time I came out, it was to one of my subordinates at work. She asked me why I went to Manitoba in May.  I simply responded, "because my partner's father was having an operation and I went to be supportive." Her eyes lit up and she said with a big smile, "Nice!"

The bottom line of this blog is that I have lost no friends or family over coming out.  If nothing else, they have been very supportive.  I will end this with the response I got from my oldest brother.  When I told him I was gay he said, "I'm just sorry you felt you had to hide it all of these years.  I am happy for you and I love you."

2 comments:

  1. it so great that you have found the support that you have....same was true for my self. its nice to know that the people in your life are truly pulling for you.

    I've enjoyed your posts, newest follower here.

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  2. Thanks Todd. I am truly grateful for the support and the bigger surprise was that coming out was nothing to be afraid of. I'm glad you got the same support.
    I also like your posts as well!!!

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