Happy Pride Month everyone! Since this year we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which sparked the first Gay pride ever, I decided that I wanted to share my coming out story with you all! It’s not a happy & glorious story at all, but it’s one that has shaped me as person and I wouldn’t change it one bit.
Something you should know..
You see…I grew up in a Christian house hold to a father whose whole career was in the military and he’s black. Being black + gay + christian is already a NO-NO. BUT don’t let me forget my mom! My mother side is Filipino; so anyone that usually comes out as “gay” wants to be transgender (in what she has seen in her culture and in the media on filipino television).
How it all began…
I talked to this guy, whom I’ll call “J”. I was a senior in H.S. and he was a junior. I wasn’t the popular kid in school. He was on the cheerleading squad. We started talking through Myspace (does anyone even remember that site nowadays? lol). We would write each other on our walls and have full on discussions about anything and everything (I wonder, to this day, why we didn’t talk via DM, but whatever).
It wasn’t until we started messaging each other on AIM, a messenger that was featured on AOL, and we started talking about our sexuality. He was kind of talking to some other guy on the cheerleading team who was openly gay. He would tell me how they would do things or whatever, but that he was not open to anyone about their relationship. I never experience anything with a guy so I would always probe and ask questions. Kind of living vicariously through him. We developed a friendship online which kind of blossomed into curiosity of whether we liked each other.
I remember him and this guy broke up early in the fall of 2007. We talked about it and I remember inviting him over after school. I said I was great with massages and he was like “I could use one” I have never been so close with a guy before, physically, and I would give him massages after school every now and then before my parents came home.
The conversations in person were minimal. We didn’t really talk much, which to me was quite odd. He was super talkative online, but in person was very mute. I didn’t think anything over it until one day after school I approached him about it in the stairways.
I asked him, “Why don’t we ever communicated in person the way we do online?” He only shrugged his shoulders…
There were many times he would come by…even came to my house at night to “talk” but with no words…it confused me. If you like me, why won’t you have any words or communicate with me? I think at that time, I knew I deserved better…I finally ended all communication with him during Thanksgiving break. I was hurt because I have always seen movies and shows with people who liked each other and they actually talked…to each other…in person. Getting to know one another and having great memories…But that wasn’t the case for the two of us.
Fast Forward Summer 2008
I found out that “J” was talking and dating a guy that is a family friend of mine (I’ll call him “F”). F was attending college at the time so it was long distance. J & F also communicated via Myspace and that’s how I found out. They were communicating a lot on each other’s walls and that even hurt me some more because I knew this family friend and he knew that I had talked to him previously.
Summer of 2008 was a refreshing summer for me. I had graduated H.S., I came out fully to my friends, and I even created a blog post on my coming out to the world on Myspace. I didn’t come out in H.S. because I didn’t want people all in my business. I wanted to start college fresh, being who I am, and not looking back on some of the horrible memories H.S. brought me.
Faced with Being Outed
Towards the end of the Summer of 2008, J & F’s relationship began to become more public. They’ve been dating 6 months and F didn’t want this news to be coming out. One of J’s friends knew of their relationship and the friend began spreading the news to different folks, one being F’s brother (which the brother really didn’t care tbh). Once F starting finding out who was spreading around their news, I had talked to F and told him that his brother already knew that him and J were dating. That triggered F and he thought I was the one who told his brother and F started to blame me for his brother knowing, which I’m like, I didn’t even tell him a thing. His brother told me…
So because of that, F threatened to out me to my family. That is something NOBODY should ever do! No matter how upset or angry you are, you are not responsible to OUT anyone when they’re not ready to come out. So, I prepared myself to come out to my parents.
Coming out of the closet was the most scariest thing in my life I’ve ever had to do. So scary that my whole life depended on whether I’d be kicked out of the house and being homeless and/or if my parents decided to love me despite being gay. I was SO afraid that I even watched a ton of Youtube videos of people who have come out and have experienced both spectrums. I wanted to be heavily armored with information, preparing for the worst of the worst.
I was preparing for work the night of when I decided to come out. I wasn’t brave enough to tell my dad so I ended up writing a letter. As I was leaving for work, I left it on my parents bed and I had anxiety the entire time I was working. I ended up coming home and my parents did not see the letter as it was on the floor (probably because the fan in my parents room blew it off) so I ended up taking the letter and placing it on my parents pillow so they would be able to see it. I said my goodnights and prayed for the best.
I woke up the next morning (it was Sunday morning) and my dad came in to wake me up. He said, “I received your letter and we’ll talk about it later). My heart fell into my stomach. We went to church that morning and F also went to my church, still fuming and blaming me for J & F’s relationship getting out. I went to work that night and had some work friends comfort me as my dad mentioned we’d have a family meeting on Monday night as a family.
The Family Meeting
I remember it like it was yesterday. We all sat on the couch in the living room. My sister and myself on one couch and my Mom & Dad on the next couch. I don’t remember the conversation and how it started, but I remember my dad saying “We love you, but we don’t accept you to be gay…we don’t accept your lifestyle”
I remember them asking me “who know’s?” and I told them my friends know and that my sister knew. I told them I didn’t tell them because I was afraid of being kicked out of the house because a lot of people who have come out to their families have been kicked out. My dad said, “I would never kick you out of my house. I was kicked out of my house as a kid and I vowed that if I had kids one day that I would never kick them out of the house. You always have a place to stay. We just don’t believe or accept the gay lifestyle”
There were tears in the room. It was definitely emotional. I remember us ending the conversation and myself going to my room and balling my eyes out. My sister came into my room, and held me. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I did it.
My parents and I don’t ever discuss my sexuality. I’ve never brought a boyfriend (like I have ever had one smh lol) home or talked about the guys I’m dating. I come home 2 or 3 times a year. My relationship with my dad has gotten better, although it wasn’t the greatest at the beginning when I came out. My relationship with my mother pretty much stayed the same. I think it’s because I’m her one and only son and she was going to love me regardless. I believe they had dreams of me being straight and having a family one day – but the those dreams were shattered when I came out and with the time that has passed, it healed their hearts and broken dreams. Now that it’s 2019 and I’m 28, I think my parents will be more open to me bringing someone home one day. Of being open to the idea of me having a family with another man and it being ok.
F ended up apologizing to me a year later when I moved away from home. I believe he realized that he was in the wrong and that he wanted to make it up to me for accusing me of something I didn’t do. It took awhile for me to gain trust in him because of how he treated me, but I ended up forgiving him.
My coming out to my family has shaped me into who I am today. It took me a long time to fully accept and love myself truly, but I wouldn’t change my experience one bit! IT GETS BETTER!