National Coming Out DayToday is National Coming Out Day, a day for closeted gays and lesbians to tell the world they are gay. Something like that at least.
I've never participated in this event in the past, and I probably won't do anything this year (I still do have some coming out to do myself). But I've really been thinking over the last few weeks about the side of my family that doesn't know I'm gay.
When I told my mom I was gay, it wasn't a planned thing. I was sitting at home alone and I had this pressure that had been building up on me for the last few weeks. Sitting on my couch alone that night, I felt like I was going to explode. It's a feeling I had never felt before.
So, I went and sat on the floor in my bedroom next to the phone for about 20 minutes. I finally got the nerve to call her (we live in different cities) and she answered only to tell me she had just sat down for dinner. About five minutes later she called me back and matter-of-factly told me dinner was done. She must have heard the stress in my voice when I called the first time, because there is no way dinner was over that quickly. So, I told her I was gay, basically choking out the words. I hadn't cried like that in years and years. She was understanding and happy that I had finally lifted this weight off of my chest. She even called back a few minutes after we hung up the phone to make sure I was ok and crack a few jokes.
That really was the most amazing feeling for me--to finally have this out in the open. The experience was wonderful. Now, the coming out to my dad wasn't so rosey, but now a couple of years after I told him, I'm glad I did it too. Like that Starbucks cup said, the only regret I have is that I didn't come out earlier.
Given all of this, I think it might be time to take the next step. Obviously they are my family and they love me, but my dad's reaction put me in a depression for weeks. I told my mom in an email that it felt like I had been punched in the chest. I don't want that to happen again. But, life's not easy and sometimes to move forward, you have to take a few steps backward first.
I guess we will see how things go from here.