I know that today is National Coming Out Day. I understand the need to commemorate this act in a lot of peoples lives, and to offer a community support for those people still going through it. However, I see coming out as a journey, not a destination. Honestly, my journey has been relatively easy, so I share these stories only to offer hope to people that are worried about coming out that it may not be as bad as you are thinking.
I am lucky, I know. My coming out journey was pretty simple once I started it. The only real hurdle I faced in coming out was how long I waited to do it.
I started coming out, finally, in 2001 at age 28.
I had met someone who lived in Chicago while I was living in Orlando. We talked constantly- yadda yadda. He had come to visit me for a weekend and we had an amazing time. For his birthday I decided to meet him in NYC for a great weekend away together.
My best friend in Orlando kept pestering me about my weekend trip. Where was I going - with who - for what - etc. She knew. So on the Tursday night before I was to leave for NY, we sat in the work parking lot chatting for awhile, as we always did. We talked about absolutely nothing while I worked up the courage to say what it ended up she already knew.
"I'm going to NY to meet someone I am romantically interested in," I said.
"What's his name?" she asked. Completely stealing my thunder. I was all set with my little speech, my reasoning, my logic. She disarmed everything in one question. I still hadn't had to say the words, "I'm Gay." I skipped over the really hard part of actually saying the phrase I was dreading.
It turns out my friend is bi, her sister is Lesbian- so I clearly picked the perfect person to take this first step.
The next friend ended up with simliar results. I moved back to DC and got reaquainted with all of my old college buddies. One night, two of us were out at a bar dancing when she turned and asked, "So, what kind of girl are you looking for." I simply answered, "I'm not." Again, no stress, no judgement. A simple, "Oh, cool" and were were back on the dance floor.
The humor comes when I started to tell my other friends, and especially my mother. But that's for tomorrow.....