Queer Teen Comes Out After Dad Walks in on Him and His Boyfriend Making Out.

by Andrew Gryniewicz

I’m Andrew Gryniewicz and I’m from Seattle, Washington. 

In 2013, I had a girlfriend and we had been dating for about a year and a half. And I had always felt that maybe that wasn’t right, but we were getting along and it’s high school, so I was deep in denial at this point. But that summer of 2013, I started flirting with this boy. Suddenly, it felt very comfortable, felt very normal, felt nice. That was kind of the first moment that I realized, Oh, I am being dishonest and dating this woman. I ended up breaking up with her and started seeing Luke pretty closely after that. We had been seeing each other for about two months at this point, and it was very nice and I was having a great time.

One day, he came over to our house and there was always a rule with my girlfriend that if my girlfriend was over, the doors had to stay open. But because Luke is a boy, my parents didn’t care. The door was closed. We were watching TV. Naturally, we started making out as young teenage boys do, and it was raining outside and the windows were open. 

Every time it rained, my father closed the windows, so naturally, my father came to knock on the door to close the windows, and he did one of those knock and enter kind of situations, not a knock and wait for us to say something. Luke was on top of me, so I had to push Luke off of me. My father was dead silent. He walked over. He closed the window and he left. Now, at this point, I am terrified.

A few minutes later, my dad calls me downstairs and he just says, “I don’t know what’s going on in there, but keep that door open.” I am sheet white. I’m like, “Yes, dad. Okay, whatever you say.” I go upstairs. And my mom is out at this point, so I knew that he was going to tell her when she got back and there was going to be a conversation. Luke was kind enough to stay until my mom came home. 

My mom comes home. Luke goes. I am then called into my parents’ room and I sat on their bed and they were like, “So, what’s going on?”

I am then called into my parents' room and I sat on their bed and they were like, "So, what's going on?"

I just said, “I’m dating Luke.” 

And they were like, “But what about your girlfriend? We’ve known for a long time, but obviously, you were dating your girlfriend for so long that we just kind of thought maybe we were wrong.” It was just a lot of confusion.

This was probably the most emotional conversation we had because I felt very defensive because after they asked about Luke, they were like, “So, you’re gay?” 

And I was like, “No, I don’t think I’m gay. I just really like Luke and I just really enjoy spending time with him. I think I definitely like boys, but I’m not gay.” I didn’t want to use the label yet. 

My parents like things in black and white. For sure, they’re very type A, so that gray area, for lack of a better term, didn’t sit well with them. They did unfortunately bring up all of the topics I was afraid and the reason I didn’t bring it up to begin with, but just out of lack of knowledge, they asked about AIDS. We’re religious, so they spoke about hell. When I heard those things, my heart dropped to my stomach.

I left the conversation. It was very unresolved. We just kind of reached a point where I was like, Well, this is what it is. I guess we all just need to process. So, I felt relieved in a way that they knew, but obviously, I left the conversation with a little bit of frustration. 

So, I went to the TV room after our conversation and just started watching TV again. I think I just needed to decompress. My mom knocks on the door and she asked if she can come in and talk. 

Obviously, we’re both a lot calmer, and she just expresses to me that the reason for all that frustration and confusion in our first talk about this was that they don’t want me to be confused, that they just want me to be happy and be okay. That was what I needed to hear, for sure. Especially given all of the anxiety for years leading up to this moment, to have that support was so lovely. And I knew that we would get to that point, but it was really, really special that she said that.

So, from then on, the conversation was open. I had said the thing I was the most afraid of, and they heard me and accepted me, so now we could actively talk about it. I could be open with my fears as they came up. And now that I live in New York and my life just gets gayer and gayer by the minute, I get to share that part of my life with them now. They’ve come to the gay bars with me. My mom’s had Tequila poured on her throat at Flaming Saddles. My dad’s gotten a $4 gin and tonic at Mickey Spillane’s. And it’s just been really special, and that day changed our relationship for the better.

If I could go back and talk to senior in high school, Andrew, while he’s waiting for his mom to come home, I would of course tell him, “It’s all going to be okay. Trust the relationship that you have with your parents. Trust that they have your back, and they don’t want anything bad to happen to you.” And I would want him to know that, “You feel terrified right now, but what comes out of this is so beautiful.”


Sharing your story can change someone's life. Interested in learning more?