I entered college without having officially come out of the closet. So on the first day I met my new set of classmates in college, I told them, “I’m Jake. I love to read, and I like dudes.” No one took it against me. In school, everyone knew I was gay.
But at home, it was an entirely different story. Though I’ve never been the stereotypical gay son, I definitely am not the stereotypical straight son either. I don’t do well in sports. I don’t watch trashy action films. I read lots of books, watched old films, and I was real particular with the clothes I wore. One day, my parents and my siblings discussed how they thought I was gay. They decided to confront me. At first, I felt that I was being cornered. Naturally, I was really defensive, accusing them of negative treatment against homosexuals like me, and it hasn’t been a joyride living with homophobes (when in fact, they really weren’t homophobic). After a few minutes of senseless arguments, my dad said that they would have my back no matter what. I was real happy, I just didn’t show it that much. I tried to pass the idea that I didn’t care what they thought of me, that if they were okay with it or not, I did not require their approval. However, one could not deny that it was definitely an awesome moment.
They still think it wasn’t a big deal for me because they know I would’ve lived my life with or without their support. But it really is a good feeling to know that one could live a “gay” life without having to keep one’s family out of the picture. Though I would never expect them to ask about my relationships, it feels good that they actually won’t mind who I date.
One’s family sometimes serves as the biggest reason why closeted gay men feel scared to come out. The idea of being rejected by one’s family is always undesirable. However, I’m happy that the idea did not become a reality. It is with this story that I hope that people who are pressured by their families would not crumble. They have an entire community that is willing to help out. And to all families who have gay members, do nurture them. Treat them no differently. All we want is a good life. We all want that regardless of sexuality, really.