I’m From Stoneham, MA.

by robert c.

Even at the ripe age of 65, my coming out saga continues. I only came out 10 years ago but I nevertheless felt this deep urge to attend my high school reunion so that I could do what I failed to do 47 years ago: announce to my former classmates that I was gay. I debated at length whether to attend: the expense of the trip from Vancouver to Boston; why would it matter for someone my age; would the people who matter be there (or were they even alive)? I also wanted to see my best friend, Owen, and tell him that I was gay. I had successfully hidden my attraction for him lest he shun me like anyone else would in the late 50s and early 60s.

The reunion was remarkably uneventful. The most important topics of discussion were “themselves.” I had to assertively announce that I now lived in Vancouver with my husband. I could have gone through the whole evening in the closet since no one was particularly interested in wanting to know anything about me. I reflected that perhaps that was the way I lived my life in high school: invisible. While the speeches droned on, I perused the copy of the yearbook which aptly confirmed my existence, or lack thereof, since there were no candid pictures of me in a class of 25 boys, only the formal picture.

Alas, my best friend was not able to attend. I wrote him an e-mail message so that I could come out to him. After all, he was the object of my unrequited feelings, so I wanted him to know the real person that I was. The message was short, telling him of my move to Vancouver where my husband and I were married. Like a teenager, I eagerly checked my message to see if he had replied. A day later, a message arrived. Owen said that he didn’t fly anymore which accounted for his absence. He then wrote that he now lived in San Francisco and that his partner had died two years ago. My mind went back to those school days and I thought of the wasted years of not telling the people I love who I am – and damn the consequences.

6 Comments:

  1. Congratulations on coming out and on your marriage. You did come out to the most important person, yourself. Imagine living an entire life without acknowledging who you are to yourself. I applaud you for taking such a huge step. Hindsight is 20/20. You are out now. I wish you so much happiness with your husband, which was not even thought of being possible ever back then. Enjoy the now and the time with your husband. You are one lucky man and I would be proud to have you as a friend. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I can’t explain the emotions it has brought up in me. My eyes are wet with tears. Oh, if I could only give you a hug!! Thank you so much Robert.

  2. Glad! You got it out of your chest. I’m sure it feels so good.

  3. BTO, what fantastic writing – Great job!

    Thank you for sharing your story with the “internets” for all to see.

    Oh, and enjoyed the Thanksgiving dinner at you and your husband’s . . . .

  4. I’m not exactly sure why, but I just shed a few tears reading that.

    I’m glad you found someone. I hop you can go and meet Owen again with your husband.

  5. Must have been tough on you all these years, but at least you found yourself and shared with all. I also come from Stoneham and just a few years older than you. Now in Boston but never forget my life in Stoneham!

  6. <3
    thanks for sharing.

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