Bo Shuff

The Coming Out Journey Begins...

Filed By Bo Shuff | October 11, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: coming out of the closet, living honestly, National Coming Out Day

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.....

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Haha, that totally reminds me of two of my closest girlfriends when I came out almost 10 years ago. One was a close friend from a Bible study I had been in in high school, and she had had a bit of a hard couple of years, getting pregnant in high school, going through with the pregnancy, giving it up for short, the naive Bible study years were solidly OVER for both of us, having experienced some of the real world. So we were sitting in her car, and I finally got the courage to tell her, and she just looks at me and goes "Uh huh, and?"

Same with another friend who's 9 years older than me. I was 19, she 28, but we had been friends since I was 16, and my mother always assumed that this "older girl" had some sort of designs on me. I never was able to explain before I came out why, yes, Susan and I were friends, and no, there's nothing weird about it. But I finally told Susan, and she said, "Duh, God, finally."

OH NO! I hate be contined stories...just kidding, okay will check tomorrow and see what mom said.

Well, actually, Mom will be the day after....

Yeah, a few years ago I wrote an article and came out in the county newspaper in the little rural area where I grew up. As I worded it in the article, I waited so long to officially come out that announcing I am gay is kinda like Isaac Hayes announcing he is Black.

I guess we can now tag it "Clay Aiken Syndrome".

i know it has to be easier when you've got friends who can identify with the issues, or who have already determined with their own gaydar that you are who you are.
it is still an elongated process for many of us - another Coming Out Day has passed with my lips silent on the matter.
reading testimonies, though, is helpful. thanks, and i look forward also to the continuing saga.