The Story Of My
Telling other people you’re gay is hard. But living a lie is even harder. Here’s how I told the truth.
By: Deborah Baer
I’ve known I was gay ever since I can remember. But when I was growing up, homosexuality wasn’t as socially acceptable as it is now, so I kept it a secret-until the day I accidentally outed myself. I was 20, living at home during summer break from college when my girlfriend (a.k.a. “roommate”). Sarah*, came to visit. One morning, Sarah was in the bathroom drying her hair. I went to the kitchen to get bagel and saw my mom standing there with this panic-stricken look on her face. “What’s going on with you two?” she said, on the verge of tears. Mothers just know.
"What are you talking about?" I said, knowing exactly what she was talking about. I felt like I was going to faint. "Are you gay?" she cried-emphasizing "gay" like it meant circus-freak-child-molesting-alien. "You’re crazy!" I screamed, then somehow walked to the bathroom, shut the door, and cried.
See, the minute I saw my mom's face. I knew she (and dad too) wasn't ready to hear the truth. It's not that it's against their religion or anything; they're actually liberal. I mean, if someone else's kid were gay, they wouldn't care at all! But they weren't ready because I wasn't ready. Okay, sure, I looked the part-short hair, boyish clothing, didn't care about makeup, played three sports in high school, and never had a boyfriend.
Those are just exterior things, though. Inside, I didn't know who or what I was. So how could I expect my parents to get it when I wasn't sure myself? What's more is that I was still financially dependent on them, and I was terrified they wouldn't send me back to college. I also needed them emotionally-I desperately didn't want to disappoint them.
But the thing about staying in the closet is, you're constantly lying-making up excuses for not having a boyfriend, and it sucks. Neither Sarah nor I was out. We lived in a bubble, hiding from the world, ashamed of our relationship. I heard this saying one time and I think it's so true: You're only as healthy as the number of secrets you have. By the time I was 23, I was tiered of lying. In the three years since the bagel accident, I’d done of work accepting myself (mostly in therapy, which I highly recommend, but also in talking to other gay girls on Web sites like outproud.org and gaystraightalliance.org). I was finally ready for any reaction my parents might have thrown my way. I decided that the next time anything even remotely gay came up in conversation, I would take the plunge.
So one day. Mom and I were sitting at the kitchen table and she started talking about a friend of hers who has gay friends. This time, as soon as she said gay, I jumped in. “Mom, I’m gay.” “Oh, Thank God,” she said, and started crying. This time they were tears of joy. She was relieved to have the big honking elephant taken out of the room. She wanted to tell my dad, so she took him for a long drive. When he came back, we went on the patio together. “There are going to be a lot of people in the world who don’t like you,” he said. I told him I could handle it. Happy waterworks again from Pop. When I told my brother, it was the same thing: relief. Everyone was glad that they didn’t have to walk on eggshells anymore.
It may sound like my coming out was pretty easy. And I have to admit, it kind of was. But everyone’s story is different. And you have to be ready financially and emotionally-to accept the potential consequences of a disastrous reaction. Have a solid plan, like a safe place to stay with friends, in case it goes bad.
The good news is that there are plenty of people who won’t care if you’re gay. Surround with them. If they have to be your new family until yours comes around, so be it. That’s better than living a lie. Or living your life for someone else’s ideals of what’s right and wrong.
Today, I have the best life I can imagine. Anyone who matters to me, including my coworkers, knows I’m gay and couldn’t care less. My parents have come a long way. They actually bug me to settle down and have a family with a girl! Fortunately, I’m on that path. I have a sweet girlfriend who I’m crazy about. We have an amazing circle of friends-straight and gay. And I feel loved for who I am.
The story of "The Story of my Coming out" is from one of the Cosmo Girl magazine April 2008. We'd like to notify that we're giving the credit of the story to the original publishers the way it should be, but we published one copy of the story for it's contents on a gay issue that might help our readers to relate and find more gay-common related stuff that could seeks them a veiw on more gay issues