Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nearing the end of one era, and the beginning of another.

It begins.

I approached my dad today and told him, "Dad, is the family meeting happening today?"

Supposedly, the family is meeting to talk to my sister who has a few career changes in mind.  My parents want to talk to her about possibly making the most of this transition which in more common speak means finding a way to get her to live her life closer to how they want it to be.  Last week, I had mapped out that this week would be the week I was to come out to my parents.

Many years ago, back when dates were still appended with a 90 something, I came out to my brother on a night he was sharing with me a problem he was foreseeing.  Back then, he felt the world was ending with his problem.  But when I came out to him, he looked at me and said, "Yikes, yours IS going to be much harder."

Earlier this year, I came out to my sister.  She looked at me funny and finally admitted, "I actually knew before you told me."  When I asked why, it turns out a gay friend of mine whom she has worked with in the past accidentally blurted it out to her one evening.  He  was so happy to have met my sister and greeted her with a, "It is so cool that you are okay with your brother being-" "Being what?" she asked and that's when he realized he had outed me.  He made her swear never to admit he broke the news out to her too soon.  But clearly, family bonds are tougher than friendships.

Which makes today something I am in many ways worried about.  In my earlier entry, I spoke about how I might have to actually step from one closet into another just to help my parents accept things better.   I am starting to wonder, however, if that would truly be a better thing to do.  Coming out is an act of honesty.  An act of gaining strength in being finally true to oneself, even at the risk of emotional, and in some cases even physical, pain.   Would lying in the act of coming out just cheapen the act itself?

I was juggling the option of coming out for quite some time now.

After being in numerous relationships with both guys and girls in my life, I had in many ways seemingly perfected the "we're just friends" projection to the extent that I am certain that while there might have been doubts about me being straight before, such doubts were quickly quelled by close-minded logic.  I was into arts and theater and film, which for many parents is a warning sign in itself.  However, I was not into musicals as much as most were.  I was more into horror films than love stories.  And when it came to artwork, many found my stuff macabre and disturbing.   I wasn't effeminate in action or speech, but I did have a softness in how I carried myself.  I didn't have thoughts or cares for basketball or football and wrestling bored me.  I was more fascinated with swords and sorcery and dice and spaceships.

In many ways, I was a geek more than gay, and for my parents being a geek was the "answer" to why I probably didn't seem man enough.

But now, nearing my thirty third birthday, I realize I want to be honest at last.  For many years I dreaded birthdays because they always made me depressed.  They always made me think, "There goes another year my parents don't know their own son."  The idea of living another year lying to them was no longer something I could find acceptable.  And this was more so because in the last few months, I have found the one person who really gets me and understands me and accepts me for who I am.  I have found the person who makes love more than a word, and makes cliches more than a literary tool.  And unlike me, he has been proudly out and open about his sexuality.  He has been keeping my identity anonymous out of respect for the fact I was still in the closet.

It was an odd closet too.  

Odd considering everyone else in the world save for anyone directly associated to my parents and my parents themselves were the only ones who didn't know me as me.  To friends, co-workers, clients and new strangers I meet, I am out and proud.  I am the boyfriend of my partner.  I am the bisexual one in the group.  We proudly walk around the mall with our hands held together, or our bodies hugged close.  We would kiss when we felt the urge to.  We would talk about anything we wanted to.  There was no need to censor ourselves.  No need to hide.

So now, this strange closet has outlived its purpose.  It is time to break the doors open, and free the truth within.  Time to let the piggies inside that loves a wonderful handsome and intelligent Egg be free to oink out loud, "I'm here!  And yes, I ain't gonna hide again."

Am I scared shitless?


I'm more scared about the revelation affecting my parents health more than anything.  While the pain of being disowned is terrible indeed, I feel that knowing my words might cause actual physical anguish scares me.  I would not want to be someone who sends his parents to the hospital when he tries to finally be himself.

But the fear is no different than the fear I know they too will have to face after this.  Once they know, they will fear others knowing what they know.  And only by showing them others knowing isn't as bad as they think it is will that fear begin to alleviate.   Courage is needed to come out.  Courage will be needed after as well.

Coming out feels to me like a race that I have been on for many many years.  There have been many false starts, especially back when I would try to get my parents to ask the question.  Deep down I always felt that if they asked, that meant they were ready to hear the answer.  But in the last few months, even after clearly speaking about how my boyfriend and I were looking for a place to live in, as well as how we were considering finding something rent-to-own, and the ultimate hint being when I told them I wasn't hoping to get back together with an ex girlfriend because I found the person who completes me (they strangely never asked who it was or if they could meet "her") I began to realize they knew the hints and picked up the clues but intentionally chose not to ask.    I began to consider that maybe just maybe they weren't asking because they thought I wasn't ready to say it.  Maybe they were waiting for me.

So, this is it.  I began the countdown to the end.
The family is meeting tonight to talk to my sister.  I realized it was the best time to share something else the family had to talk about.

I approached my dad today and told him, "Dad, is the family meeting happening today?"
My dad answered, "Yes.  It should.  Everyone was supposed to be here at four, but its just you so far."
I told him, "Good,  I'll want to discuss to you all something as well."
My Dad seemed curious.  He asked, "About what?"
I smiled and told him, "Later... when everyone is here."
My Dad pressed on, "About what?"
I told him, "About me."

Here's hoping it actually ends better than we've all heard coming out stories go.

Tell you more soon.

Here's hoping the finish line is a joyous celebration.


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