I thought I should probably stop lurking around the forums and finally join in. 🙂
I came out a few months ago. Only to myself, although I suppose that's always a good place to start. No crazy family stories yet…
I remember realising that, hey, I'm gay and I'm actually okay with that. Okay, it was a bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea.
All through my teenage years I remember always being attracted to other guys, but somehow I didn't think too much of it. There was no mention of anything that wasn't 'straight' in sex ed and school education (Christian private school) or at home or church either. If there was, it was in a blatantly negative, spoken with cringes and shudders and two boys? That's disgusting. Yeah, that was a snippet of an actual conversation between my Oma (Dutch for grandma) and younger brother.
For a long time I thought the possibility of being gay didn't matter. In my head I always had this image of me marrying a woman some time in my future, having kids, all that. I'd meet a nice girl, we'd date and get married and it wouldn't be an issue any more. But I got older and more independent, left a closed minded high school, went to uni and met new people. I learned new things about the world and about myself, and that 'dream' began to crumble.
I guess coming out to myself was more of a gradual thing. But I got there.
I was driving home the other day and realised that, hey, I'm a part of a minority group of sorts. That was a weird feeling. Going from white, a middle class family, male, and then although I'm still all of those things, I realised that I'm also a part of a group that my Christian family wouldn't approve of. I felt like such a rebel. Ha ha.
It's a strange thing, having a secret that could really put the relationships with most of the people I know to the test. My thoughts are to tell my friends and family this year some time. A new years resolution, maybe.
I remember a while ago now I was having a bit of a rant about how LGTBI people weren't treated properly by the church in general, and then mum asked if I was gay. I'm not sure how serious she was about that question. But I left that conversation with two profound (if profound is the right word) thoughts.
1. I took an interest in LGTBI issues in the church and in general, thus I was suspected of being gay myself. It made me sad that those conclusions were drawn. 🙁
2. I lied. I said I wasn't gay, knowing that she would believe me. Funny how easy it is to get away with a lie with people who trust you.
I think it will present a sort of full circle conflict for dad when I tell him. He used to have a best friend who turned out to be gay. From the stories I hear I think dad was equal measures furious and revolted. My parents never let this friend near me as a very little kid, lest he have some sort of negative impact on me or something like that (ha ha, look how that worked out). I think dad regrets how he handled the situation, but I don't think he's ever tried to make friends with this friend again. The reason I'm saying this is that I wonder if these experiences have given him what he needs to be okay with me, as opposed to the alternative. Strangely enough, coming out to dad isn't what scares me the most.
I still have all my grandparents, and I try to maintain a good relationship with them, but I wonder if they will even speak to me again when they find out. The 'straight me' is just another mask I wear. I bet a lot of you have felt the same.
What scares me most, however, is coming out to my two brothers. I love them a lot, but I think one would be hopefully tolerant but unsure of me at best. The other can be intensely stubborn and closed minded, in the sense that he really doesn't like what he doesn't understand. Nor will he try to think from someone else's shoes. They're both teenagers still, so maybe they'll understand better when they're older. Or maybe it will take me revealing that I'm same sex attracted to really make them think. I get along with them both really well at them moment, though we're all pretty much opposites of each other. I guess it just makes the situation more intense because we're all still living at home.
I've got a group of friends I'm planning to tell soon, as soon as I can somehow organise getting us all together again. It will be interesting to see how that goes…
Thanks for reading, everyone. Just writing this has taken a lot off my chest.
Oh, and while I remember, are there any meet ups or anything happening in Melbourne? Would love to meet people face to face too. 🙂
If I can get the day off work hopefully I'll see some of you at the Melbourne Pride March. 🙂
Thanks again, everyone. Have a great weekend!