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  1. #1

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    Cool Happy National Coming Out Day!

    Hey my fellow MCers!!!!! It was recommended that I post this on the main chat forums for those nonGold members. But this should give you an idea of the wonderful posts that happen over there--think about joining Gold!!!!!!

    Let me be one of the myriad to say have a great day! For those of you who are out, please make sure you celebrate that!

    And if you are not, I encourage you to think about it! I can only speak for myself but coming out was one of the liberating things that has ever happened to me. Perhaps later, I'll post the tale of the whole experience...but there's no need to bore you with something that isn't, I'm afraid, very exciting. But I do encourage you all, in fact, challenge you all, to post a brief moment in your history when you focused on becoming who you should be.

    Heck, even admitting your Disney-crazed should count!

    The goal of this day is to let others know that we are out there, that's all. It's not to put down those who are closeted, but show the benefits of being out. Ideally, we are supposed to find a person we trust and tell them who we really are. I think that is important.

    I live my life in the opposite direction. I always keep in the back of my head that everyone knows. And when they see my ring finger and say, "what's your wife's name?" I always, without anger (it's perfectly normal to assume that the majority of the populace is straight), say, "oh, I'm sorry, his name is David." I don't scream. I don't yell. Even as recent as Friday one of coworkers wanted to know why I've not put my unemployed spouse on my insurance.

    "I can't."

    "Oh?"

    "He's a man. They don't recognize that here."

    She gawked in shock. "Oh? But, you said you were married..."

    "In Iowa."

    "But, oh, I thought that would mean..."

    And another person realized that minorities like ourselves are still in a struggle.

    Obama mentioned last night, at the Human Rights Campaign, that he will follow through on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Politics aside (please people...keep it to the Debate Lounge), we are being talked about by a standing president. He could only do that if he knew we existed and voted. And we can only do that if he knew we were out and standing before him.

    So, please, consider the day.

    And if you're straight---why stop there? No, I don't mean for you to say "I'm gay" just for the sheer fun of it...but come out saying, "I'm straight, but I support gays and lesbians!"

    And we love you for it!

    On and on I go. Too much coffee.

    So, in the end, Happy National Coming Out Day. I'm crazy about you all. I also think you all look fantastic. It's kinda the guy I am.

    Oh yeah...

    peace,
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

  2. #2

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    Re: Happy National Coming Out Day!

    A thread that my friend Roo posted on MiceChat today and a note my friend Roy wrote on FB this morning about their coming out experiences has me thinking about my own coming out and the first person I came out to. So, on this National Coming Out Day I wanna share my story about the first person I came out to and what happened in the next twenty years since.

    It was early Spring of 1989 and I was a 17 year old high school senior living in Springfield MO, the buckle of the Bible Belt. Also, regardless of where you lived it was hard for gay people to be out and open anywhere.

    I didn't have many friends but I had one good friend in high school that I trusted impeccably whose name is Jill. She was a year ahead of me so at this point she was a college Freshman. I don't remember the circumstances that brought me to tell her, but I did. At the time I was telling myself I was bi. It seemed a much more acceptable way for me to wrap my head around my sexuality and keep me "normal" even though I had zero attraction or emotional connection with girls.

    We were at a high school party at a friends' house and I found myself talking with Jill. At that time I had a girlfriend, a woman I'm still friends with today, yet outside of hanging out and a close friendship we never kissed, fooled around, anything! I had also been messin' around with my best male friend for a few years and I was really conflicted. Not so much about my sexual interest, but because I'm the son of a minister and was raised in a protestant church in a denomination that looked down on homosexuality.

    I remember being so angry at God for making me gay. I knew it wasn't a choice and because of the social climate of the late 80s and the religious views I was raised in it was absolute torture. I was the "good kid" that did my best to do everything right, never rock the boat, turn the other cheek, and lived my life for God. Yet, I also knew that my being gay was biologically innate. The two, at the time, just simply didn't add up or appear to connect in any way. I've since learned, that for me in other ways that they're absolutely intrinsic.

    Anyway, at this party Jill and I got to talking and she could tell something was wrong with me. So, I summoned every ounce of courage I had and told her that I thought I was bi, but probably gay. Again, I knew I was 100% gay but telling her I was bi was much easier. And ya know what? She didn't judge or shame me. She told me that she was happy that I finally told her! She already knew. She also told me that she loved and supported me and that if I ever wanted to talk to her about it that I always could.

    I was so frightened to tell her, but so glad that I did. It was at that point that I decided that once I got out of high school and Springfield and went away to college that I'd live my life as openly as possible and sure enough, I did.

    When I arrived at Northwest Missouri State University in the Fall of 1989 as a theatre major I didn't hide it, nor did I shout it. I was quite simply... me. Some people accepted it, some didn't, and I was still conflicted and full of self hate that my religion had brought about but I knew living honestly was the best route to go.

    I came out to my family in October of that Freshman year. I'd like to think it went well, but it didn't. Not at first. My sister Jenny was the first one in the family I told as I knew she'd be cool with it. Later on, my Mom flat out asked me on the phone. I'd just come out to a friend of mine that day who didn't take it well and shunned me. It hurt deeply. Mom called as I was still crying about it. She asked, I told. I remember thinking, "if I don't tell her now it'll be lying, and it may be another 18 years before I do."

    She was great on the phone. She consoled me and comforted me. Toward the end of the call I said, "you're taking this well," to which she replied, "well, just wait until I tell your father." Ouch.

    But even that was the best thing to do. I had no answers for my family as to whys and wherefores except I just knew that I was. Coming out was alternately easy and difficult. My family eventually grew to accept it and realize that I was still the same person that they always knew and loved. My sexuality didn't change anything.

    It's been... oh wow.. over twenty years since I first came out and I gotta say that I view being gay as a real gift. Being different than the societal norm forced me out of my narrow minded box and opened my eyes and ears to the broader world around me. Being gay has enriched my life in many uncountable ways and I know and believe, that this part of me has helped me to become the man I am today.

    Being gay has colored every part of my world. I no longer fear it like I did when I was a teenager and a young adult. I'm no longer angry at God for making me gay, I don't even believe in that god. Spirituality went out of my life for many years because of this but in the past year and a half has been making a slow return.

    For me, it's not a belief in a Christian God, but my spirituality lies in the power of people I surround myself with. That's the blessing, that's the real gift that I've been given. To me, my friends and the friends I call my "chosen family" are the real God.

  3. #3

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    Re: Happy National Coming Out Day!

    I just wanted to thank you both for sharing your stories. Inspiring and touching.

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