It wasn’t until I was 19 that I came out to myself. It’s amazing how difficult just saying those three little words can be, even to oneself. Upon saying them, it is as if immediately the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I was immediately happier; I could finally start living my life as ME.
It wasn’t until I was 21 that I came out to my family. All of my friends already knew. I still remember that day like it was yesterday…I mean how could you forget?! I sat my family down and told them I have something to tell them. I said “As I’m sure you have pretty much figured out by now, I’m gay.” There was silence. And then my mother started crying. The thoughts going through my head were ones of fear; fear that my parents were not going to accept me. My brother immediately began “defending” me by asking why she was crying…that it was still me and always will be. My dad ten chimed in by saying “Jesus…he just told you something so important about himself and you are making it about you.” I questioned my mother about why she was crying. Her response was exactly what I was looking for. “I’m crying because I always thought we were so close with one another. You’re my best friend. I love you and will always love you, but why did you wait so long to tell me?” We all started laughing.
I always knew that they would be accepting of my sexuality, but there was still that fear of rejection. Fear of disappointment. Fear of embarrassment. What made things even more awkward was that my father already has two gay brothers and a gay uncle. And now his son is gay? If that doesn’t prove any sort of genetic link then I don’t know what does.
Now I’m living in Philadelphia attending graduate school. And can I say that I’m so flippin’ happy to be here; I had a clean slate. For once, everyone here knows me as ME, and I couldn’t be any more grateful for that. I’m proud of who I am.
Be true to yourself and live your life to the fullest. And if you can’t do that, then at least live it FABULOUSLY!