Coming Out for a Cause

It used to say "No Passing Through"

A friend of mine sent me to a link about a person doing a project on coming out stories. The project is called “Queer Perspectives” I recently submitted my coming out story:

Coming out was a strange experience for me. I was incredibly effeminate as a child, and so I would probably have considered myself “obvious” since birth. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, when I was four, I apparently had an entire “routine” that I would do whenever the song “Material Girl” was played, which involved a lot of prancing while having balloons tied to my belt loops. I also used to give my sisters make-up advice when I was five. Anyway, as I became older I was constantly told “You’re gay!” which in Arkansas was considered an insult. I knew they were right, but I was a little offended that they seemed to think they knew something so personal about me, based on the way I behaved. Therefore I kept myself in the closet out of spite. I also wasn’t very attractive in high school, and figured it wasn’t worth going through all that torture unless I had a boyfriend. Fortunately, my exposure to the gay world was not all that limited, as a theatre kid I was exposed to lots of guys who were gay, but none of whom found me particularly attractive. So I stayed in the closet throughout high school.

When I went away to college, I wanted to come out, but still felt I needed a boyfriend or at least a connection with another guy to really give me a reason. As I became more attractive during my college days, other guys took an interest in me, and by my sophomore year I had come out to my friends, but was still closeted back home. This all changed the night I lost my virginity. I had met a boy who I fell for harder than ever before, and within a few days I was convinced we were in some sort of epic operatic romance. The problem was, I was living at home during winter break, and that meant I had my parents to deal with. Thinking of this in advance, I brought my new boyfriend of a few days home to meet my mother, and claimed he was a friend from college who had transferred out of my undergrad to another college. That night I called my parents and told them I’d be staying the night with him, which my parents disagreed and demanded I come home. I then trotted out the line that I had reserved for just such an occasion and informed them that I was twenty one years old, and that I was mature enough to handle myself. I hung up, and lost my virginity to the guy that night. The next morning he had to return to Texas, where he was living at the time, and after a long good-bye, I returned home with an expression of happiness that first time love tends to exude. I was singing as I flitted about the house like I was some Disney princess, and as I retired upstairs to write a long letter to my love, my mother entered the room. I could see on her face that this was something serious, something uncomfortable, but I was so elated by being in love I couldn’t stop smiling. She sat down on the couch and took a deep breath. She then asked me point blank:

“Did you have sex with that boy?”

I was shocked my mother was being so direct, as it is not her normal style. I smiled and proudly declared.

“Yes mother I did.”

My mother looked disappointed and then told me.

“Well you shouldn’t do things like that.”

I asked her “Why not?”

To which she replied “Because your future wife won’t like it.”

Finally I couldn’t handle the closet anymore, so I simply told her:

“Mom. I’m gay. I’m not going to have a future wife.”

My mother stood up, and began to hastily exit the room.

“Come on Mom! This can’t be a shock. I mean what did you expect?” I called after her.

She did not turn around and left. For a few days neither of my parents spoke to me very much, and then after a week had pasted, my parents decided that they had not heard me come out to them at all. This charade lasted 3 or 4 more years, despite the fact that my parents met many of my boyfriends and gay friends. They only chose to accept it when I informed them that I was moving away with my boyfriend (and now fiancé). To this day when I talk about him, they tend to allow me to speak, but refuse to comment or even acknowledge what I’ve said. To them denial is certainly more than a river in Egypt.

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5 Comments

  1. Shawna said,

    August 10, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Wow, Richard! I love you. The only thing you left out is when you were 2 or 3 you were prancing around my room wanting me to paint your fingernails and asked “Shawna, why didn’t God make me a girl?” My answer to that was “I don’t know but I love you just the way you are!!” I love and miss you very much!

  2. Katherine said,

    August 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    This was so touching. It made me love you two even more.

  3. My BlogJect said,

    June 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Greg forwarded me this link. Great coming-out post.
    I’m sorry your parents are not as supportive as they should be in this day and age.

  4. kyoske said,

    June 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Actually I am happy to report that my parents have really come around this year. My partner and I are getting married on August 27, 2011, and they are even coming! So things have gotten a lot better over the years.

  5. My BlogJect said,

    June 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Oh I am so pleased to hear that!
    Congrats and happy thoughts for your wedding.
    And really really please to hear about your parents, makes life so much easier/better!


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