I’m From Silver Spring, MD.

by Jason Knight

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

My coming out to my parents was never a choice. I never intended to do it when I did. It was late one night when I was at my grandparents’ house with my dad and my brother.

I guess my dad had sensed that something was bothering me, so when my brother and my grandparents had gone to bed, he came into the living room where I was sleeping on the couch. He sat next to me and started asking me questions; I don’t remember what they were. Question after question, like Chinese water torture he wouldn’t stop. Then amongst the rapid fire of questions he asked me very nonchalantly, “Are you gay?” Before I had time to process the question, before I had time to think, I said yes.

People say that when they come out a huge weight is lifted off their shoulders. No weight was lifted, all I felt was scared. I can’t remember the rest of the conversation or the weekend for that matter. I do remember that I had pleaded with him not to tell my mom. He said we’ll see.

A few days went by and my mom came home one day and said that my dad wanted to meet her in the church near his house; he had to tell her something. I knew immediately what it was. Instead of having him out me, I decided to tell her. I’m lucky that both my parents understood, eventually.

My only regret about coming out is that I never had a choice, I was never able to do it when I was ready. I was thirteen years old, I’m sixteen now, and I’m still scared. It wasn’t until another year and a half before I could bring myself to say those three words: I AM GAY.

I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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