I’m From Odessa, TX.

by Jon D.

Satellite overhead image of Texas from Google Earth 2022

Junior year of high school: Since things were getting dicey using the family computer to satisfy my curiosity, and having no computer of my own, I decided to print out some gay resources as well as a few…how to say this delicately…”pictures”. The printed photos would have to suffice for my teenage hormones and I vowed not to use the computer for gay research anymore.

Since being gay was a clandestine operation for me, I cut the pictures down to size and tucked them away in a book. Unfortunately, the only scissors that I could find were in my sister’s craft area – pink handled scalloped border scissors to be exact. That is important to note, because it was my fundamentalist Christian step-mother who ultimately found the pictures.

One would have thought my crafty attention to detail would have been a plus for this americana-loving homemaker. Not the case. They were not amused at the content, nor my accelerated scrap-booking abilities.

Apparently, from their story, my dog was rooting around in my room and came across my “coming out to your parents” book that I had tucked under my mattress (inside were the lewd photos). Needless to say, my step-mother gave the find to my father who confronted me “Intervention” style.

After that, I put some better locks on the closet that I was hiding in. It wasn’t until I went to college and studied abroad that I was able to finally kick down the door and release my true nature, finally coming to terms with being a gay man.

What a phenomenal and rewarding ride it has been! I am so thankful for my negative initial coming out, because I would not have appreciated my current level of personal freedom as much as I do now.

Even though my relationship with my parents is strained at best around the topics of religion and sexuality, my own sense of individuality and personal power is so great that no matter what, I’m happy with who I am and know I have only great things to look forward to.

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