On January 19 I posted my story here, “Male / 40’s / Professional / Married with Kids / Thinking of Coming Out / Really Scared” and I decided to give you all an update.
Here's the link to the original post if you want the background:
At that stage only my wife knew. Well, we’ve told the kids (12, 14, 18 and 21) and they’ve all reacted with the most amazing grace and kindness. I’m so proud of them. All 4 kids are pro the LGBTI community and very vocal about fairness and equity and the right to be happy, loved and accepted for who you are.
Once we told them we decided that it would be wrong to ask them to keep a secret, so we bit the bullet and told everyone within days. It was very emotionally draining. We spoke to my parents and my siblings personally, and they all reacted well. My wife told her mother and her family too, and again, they reacted well.
The next step was to tell our closest friends. And guess what? They have all reacted well too. Several of my good mates have contacted me personally and said it changes nothing. Lots of love and compassion has been shown and I am quite shocked but deeply thankful.
So far, the only negative reaction was my mother in law, who was quite angry, but said she was glad I’d been honest, and a woman from my mum’s church said she felt obligated to let her know that her dear son would go to hell unless he repented. Mum responded saying he’d been living in hell for 30 years already so it won’t be that bad if he goes there for eternity as he’s quite used to it (better the devil you know).
Anyways, things are pretty tough right now. My wife and I are both seeing amazing counsellors through the same practice and we’ve had a session all together which was very helpful. I’ve been battling with feeling ashamed and guilty and like I have let everyone down and essentially, I’ve been grieving the way anyone grieves a loss. I dreamed of growing old with my wife, side by side, loving each other deeply and intimately and now that can never happen.
I’ve moved out of the master bedroom and set myself up in the study so we each have our own space. We have both committed to making this work the best we can. Who know what the future holds but we want to work through this respectfully and with integrity and love and make sure the kids are well cared for too. We will always be a family, just a different version of it, that will likely include me moving out, and we will always be best friends as well. It’s going to be an interesting journey.
I had one really bright spot last week. I was interstate for work and ended up catching up with my best mate from high school. We’ve known each other for 32 years but lost contact about 20 years ago. And guess what? He’s gay! I was so shocked. We had the most amazing time catching up and he was so supportive and kind and understanding. What an unexpected blessing that was.
Anyways, thanks for your support. I hope this post helps others see that things can turn out well and how it shows that people are changing and becoming more accepting and supportive.