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.