Today is apparently National Coming Out Day, and while I usually find these National X Days to be a bit lame (chewing gum day?), the topic of coming out is one a little more close to home, considering I had to do it.
The first person I came out to was myself, I suppose. I always knew I was a little “different” in that I didn’t really find girls attractive like most boys did, but the other boys? Hell yeah. Was a generally confusing time until I discovered what my feelings actually were, and what they meant. I suppose my gayness was more noticeable to others before it was to me because people were always mocking me in the vein of “you’re gay!”
Well, turns out you were right. Well done you!
The first non-me person I came out to was my friend Jenni in college. Awesome person, she was. We used to be part of a message board site together and she noticed my sexuality on my profile changed one day from “bisexual” to “gay” and her reaction was “ah, given up on women have you?” in a joking way, and nothing more was said. It didn’t matter to her, ’cause why would it? Your true friends accept you for who you are.
I didn’t come out to my parents until the age of 18 or 19, I forget when. I was at university at the time, and I joined a social networking site for university students (at the time) called Xuqa. Most of Aberystwyth University was on there at some point or another, but I sent invitations to everyone in my email contacts list. One of those contacts was my mother. Oops.
When I left uni after my first year (for reasons, maybe I’ll tell you about them one day, but the story I usually go with is “I didn’t like the subjects I was doing” which is half true I guess. Maybe a quarter) my mother came to pick me up and drive me and all my shit back to Amesbury. It was a 6 hour car journey from Aberystwyth all the way back to Salisbury.
She mentioned she got an invite to Xuqa from me, asked if it was accidental. I replied that yeah it was. She mentioned she saw my profile, and that it said I was gay, then asked “so… is it true?”
We were silent for a few minutes, then she broke the silence by saying “I always kinda knew anyway. It doesn’t matter. I love you no matter what.”
We cried, which was a bit inconvenient as she was driving at the time, and Welsh roads are notoriously bendy when you leave urban areas.
Half an hour later, my boyfriend at the time dumped me. I didn’t tell her this.
There are so many people that can’t come out for whatever reason. Maybe it’s illegal where you are, maybe your parents are homophobic, transphobic, any -phobic, maybe you’re still struggling to come to terms with it.
I support you. I’m here for you. Okay, you probably don’t know me but that’s unimportant. You deserve happiness.
And if you’re using today to “come out” as straight, you’re not funny. You’re awful and should rethink your life.
Masculinity so fragile indeed.