I’m From Washington, D.C.

by john

I never had a big coming out moment, or story, or statement.  I did not tell my parents until I was 31 because I just wanted to let everyone figure it out on their own.

I grew up in big cities, or within a 15 minute drive of them, my entire life. I moved all over the world.

In high school I had hot girlfriends, there were pregnancy scares, and I was all over the place.

But I still went dancing at massive gay clubs, often with straight friends, because the music and the drugs were better.

That went on for a while. I never thought I would have a serious, lasting relationship with a man.

Then when I was 25 I met a guy.  We were together for a year, and broke up twice before it stuck.

The morning after the first breakup, he got arrested for a DUI, and I went to see him, to be there for him, so it was somewhat inevitable that we would fall back together.

But then, the second time, we were on the phone fighting and he said, you know what, I am done with this.  Meaning, me, us, my attempts at us having some kind of romanticized life that I had been seeking.

And that was it with him. During that time, my friends figured out I was gay, and even the straightest, most laddish of them were completely accepting and open in an effortless way.

But others took great pleasure at outing me, trying to force me to out myself to them via text, email, voicemail or awkward drunken conversation when paths crossed late night at bars, or by snide comments at work.  Only a very few close friends were lost in this process.

Later, I met a guy whom I was convinced was the one.  We were together more than four and a half years, which I considered just the start of our life.  But as things happen, he fell out of love.  He told me one day when we woke up.  Then I went to smoke a cigarette only to find his bag packed, ready to go, and he moved out of the house we lived in.

That was the day I emailed my folks, to say that he had left me, and I was in a bad way, but could not talk about it yet.  My tough-as-nails, republican, catholic dad called me about 30 seconds later to listen to me cry about it.


  1. I think my reaction to this stroy says a whole lot more about me than the story writer.

    Why do so many men, gay or straight, have such problems talking about their feelings?

    When he said “others took pleasure in outing me, trying to force me to out myself to them”, I thought of alll the deeply closeted men I have known that put a wall between themselves and their loved ones.

    I also thought of the straight men in my life that will probably forever remain a mystery to me because they are so closed in.

    Maybe, just maybe some of those folks “trying to force you to out yourself” just wanted to get to know you better.

  2. I kind of agree with Phillip’s last comment–I think many people try to out their friends because they want them to be honest and feel comfortable with them. That’s what friends are, right? But, of course, I don’t know the specifics. They could have just been being dicks.

    And that’s sweet that your father called you at the end. I bet that made you feel much better, just knowing he called.

  3. Breakups are hard. Gay, straight, bi. They just hurt. I’m glad you have a family that supports you. And who knows what’s up with the party friends…we all have them I suppose. BUT, I know you have good friends that want to be there for you when you hurt. And with your charm, wit, sense of humor, and good looks (and newly sculpted abs :-))–I just know you’re going to be good in the world of love when it’s right for you again. Glad you shared.

  4. I’ve been waiting for someone around my area to post a story. Thank you for that, as well as this story. I like how you get right to the point but you have left out details..perhaps for readers to wonder?(Like that, too).
    The ending said a lot to me, very beautiful.
    Thanks, again!

  5. Why should I cry when I read your your father called – I did cry – just a little. :)

  6. What i think a lot of people (especially straight people) don’t realize is how emotionally draining the whole “im gay” conversation is. Depending on your situation – just mustering the courage to tell one person can be exhausting if for no other reason than it leaves you so exposed and vulnerable. The way I felt about it was that I owed that conversation to a very few really close friends and my family – the rest could find out through the grapevine. The gift of getting to watch someone share something so intimate and precious with you isn’t one I wanted to bestow on but the most important people in my life. And to expect that of someone who’s clearly going through huge emotional changes anyway is just selfish.

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