Sunday, November 25, 2007

Coming out

Someone asked me after posting a past BLOG to tell my coming out story. I didn't think that it was a big deal and haven't really talked about this in a long time. I wasn't going to write this until I read a short article in a magazine about the power of the BLOG and the impact that it could have without my knowledge.

I think that I realized I was Gay long before I was ever honest with myself or anyone else. Some things happened to me as a child that I won't address here, but I think that these events defined this part of my life. In fact if defined a great part of my life until I dealt with it and was able to move on.

The first time I ever mentioned the thought was my junior year in High School. I became friends with a Senior in my Physiology class who told me he was gay. I instantly had a crush on him. This was the first person who ever made me feel that it was OK. It wasn't anything he said, or did, it was just the fact that he was honest about who he was. We talked several times about this and then he graduated and I went back in the proverbial closet.

I spent the rest of my High School career hiding and denying who I really was. My Mom always had gay and lesbian friends, but I didn't want to be "one of those people." I don't know what I thought "those people" were like, but I knew that wasn't for me. I stole my brother's girlfriend. We dated for over 6 months, and then I decided it was time to move on. We broke up, but still kept in touch. During that time my family moved to Northern California and I moved into a guest house (more like a one room garage) in the back of a friend's house.

In December of that same year my Aunt convinced me that I needed to go through the Lifespring program. This would save me and fix all of my problems. I got what I could from this intense four day workshop. I drank more and avoided anyone and everyone that I perceived to be gay. That was except for Rick. Yes, Rick. He was persistent and wouldn't let me hide. After the workshop he called and we talked until one Saturday night (December 17 to be exact) he called and we spent four hours on the phone and by the end of that conversation (at 3 AM) I had admitted that I was gay and there was no turning back. The next month is sort of a blur for me. I remember my brother coming down during his winter break and hanging out with me. You see, my brother had a friend from high school that came out to him their senior year. This was the person I was hanging out with and the first friend I told that I was gay. He was actually the same person who came and rescued me that first New Years Eve from my first gay bar in West Hollywood (I was a lot drunk).

Anyway, my brother and our friend and I were sitting at what was then the Sports Connection talking. Brian finally looked at me and said, "I know what's going on, I just want you to tell me," so I said, "I'm Gay." He said that was cool and we moved on. Four days later I told my Mom who was in town for a convention. You see, I have always been close to my Mom, and prior to her arrival in LA I told her we needed to talk. Unbeknownst to me at the time she had run into someone I knew in High School at this convention who happened to be Gay. They spent a couple of hours that weekend discussing whether I was going to come out to her. I did in the last five minutes of lunch. She went home, told my Step-Dad and that was the end of it.
I am one of the lucky ones. My parents didn't disown me. They didn't shun me. They did go through their own process. My Step-Dad wanted to know if I could be cured. My Mom did the one thing she always does, and found a support group. She joined PFLAG and discovered that it was OK to have a Gay son. Over the course of the next month I came out to the rest of my family. My cousin thought I was A-sexual, my Aunt screamed Hallelujah and my grandparents (maternal), said they loved me no matter what.

Right before I came out my biological father came back into my life after being gone for seven years. It was a couple months later that he told me the same thing my brother did. I know, but I just want you to tell me. I don't care, as long as you are happy. He then went on to spout some things that I don't believe, but that was just his way of showing support.
Over the course of almost twenty years I have marched in parades, protests and been in the newspaper a couple of times. I have stood outside bars talking to people about safe sex and participated in the community.

I am not so active in those things anymore. I find that the older I get the less I am interested in those things. I believe that we should have the right to marry. I believe that people should learn to let go of the hate and the religious rhetoric. What I do is try to live my life everyday. I am kind (most of the time) and spiritual and I don't lie to people when they ask me that question. I am not ashamed of who I am, but being gay doesn't define me. Who I love and spend my life with is between me and God.

Well that's the short version of my story. I hope that this helps someone, somewhere. I am unique, as I had and have a family that has always supported and loved me no matter what. This isn't a choice. I didn't choose to be this way, if I had a choice I wouldn't pick discrimination. I also wouldn't change who I am for the anything in the world. I am a loving, caring human being. I would go to the ends of the earth for my friends and family. I try everyday to be kind to god's kids. I just happen to be attracted to men. That's just the way god made me.

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