Out

It appears that today is National Coming Out day. So in case you didn’t know it, I’m a big ole homo. Died in the wool , card carrying, and totally 100% unequivocally gay. I wasn’t molested. I wasn’t brain-washed. No one made me this way. I came this way. And for some that is a hard truth to swallow1 but belief is not a prerequisite of truth.

I always enjoy seeing who will come out on days like this. Even though incredibly painful2, I’ve never regretted my coming out 28 years ago. I came out very young and the repercussions definitely changed my life and not always for the better. The events leading up to the fatal day I almost took my own life changed me forever. I left behind the fear, the worry, and the shame. Never again would I allow anyone to make me feel anything but proud of what I am.

While we have gained some major ground as of late, the fight is not over. LGBT folk all over this country and the world are still be targeted for harassment, physical violence, imprisonment, and even death just for being born different. We must continue to fight for those who don’t enjoy our freedoms. We must attempt to educate those who fear and hate us because we are different. The simplest and most effective way IMO is for them to see we aren’t that much different. The number one thing that changes a person’s mind or heart is first hand experience. Given the chance to get know an openly gay person, many people see past the stereotypes. They see past the rhetoric, the lies, the hate, and the fear. The learn we are human beings just like them who just want to get ahead in life. The fact we happen to have same-sex attractions doesn’t make us evil or perverted just different. Our ‘agenda’ is the same as theirs.3  And when people see that they begin to change their minds. They learn, they grow, they evolve.

I encourage anyone out there pondering the idea of coming out to do so. The simple act of being open and honest will change hearts and minds. Sometimes it only takes a small spark to lite a roaring fire. Be that spark.




  1. Pun intended []
  2. both mentally and physically []
  3. Even though some of the crazy stuff they say we are pushing for is hysterical! []

Think

Someone emailed me awhile back asking what I thought my foster mom would have thought of me being gay.

The truth is I don’t know. My foster mom died when I was young and I hadn’t reached a point where I could articulate what was different about myself. I’d hope that she would have been more accepting than my dad was. Granted, my step-mother had a huge part in his eventual explosion over it but still. I’d hope that she would have accepted me even if she didn’t understand.

I’d like to think that, like me, she figured out pretty quickly I was different. Maybe not on a conscious level but mothers are often more attune to such things. Even as I child, I knew something was up, just not what. Spending a lot of time with me, I’d assume she had a clue. Having never known my mom in an adult capacity, I have no idea what her feelings on the matter were. I can’t for the life of me ever remember her using the F word. That could just be I was too young and the memory didn’t stick or it could be that she just didn’t use it. I only remember her thru a child’s eyes and that is a very different view. I don’t remember her ever really disparaging anyone, which gives me hope she would have been more understanding. While I was her only adopted child, she never treated me differently. And if she did know, it never showed.

So dear reader, I don’t know the answer to your question but I am optimistic about it.

WWMD – Coming Out

This is a hard question for me to answer. Having some significant mental (and physical) scars from my own coming-out, it is not something I often look back on fondly. That said, I’ve come a long way over the years and I wish I would have had the options most gay people have today.

Q: How do you recommend coming out to your family/friends?

A: As I sat down to write this, I realized I’ve touched on it in a variety of ways over the years. I guess it took someone asking before I could tie it all together in one cohesive post.

First off, I hate to break it to ya but there is no one-size-fits-all answer here.  Everyone has a different situation. While I am a big believer in openness and honesty, you have to weigh that honesty with self-preservation. If you are dependent on another, financially or otherwise, it is not always easy to take the high road. However, once you’ve reached a financial stability in your life, fear of survival is no longer an excuse.

From my own experiences growing up in a very rural secluded area, my view of gay people was the limp-wristed, feminine stereotype. While not representing said stereotype, I clearly recognized some traits in myself. It scared the shit out of me at the time.1 I spent many years trying to convince myself I wasn’t really gay. I had no desire to wear women’s clothing/makeup so I couldn’t possibly be gay. I just had this odd sexual attraction to men I couldn’t control no matter how much I wished it away or beat myself up over it. I continuously tried to control my thoughts, feelings, and impulses to no avail. My burgeoning sexuality would not be denied and no matter how hard I tried, I could not “convince” or “change” myself into being 100% straight.2 The mental anguish I put myself thru was intense and severe. On top of that, I felt guilty for not being able to control myself and this only made me feel worse. It wasn’t until years later I began to realize my failed attempts to ‘fix’ myself were total irrational bullshit

So, the first thing you need to accept and resolve in yourself is that you are not a bad person. You do not need to punish or chastise yourself for expressing a perfectly natural impulse (to you). Whether society has yet to realize that simple truth or not, you have an inalienable right to exist and be, just like everyone else. And for cracker’s sake, do not fall for the foolish notion you have to conform to a higher standard just to obtain the basic rights given to everyone else. We do not need to hold ourselves to a higher standard to obtain equal treatment.

Once you come to terms with accepting yourself, you need to realize you are not alone. While being gay still carries stigma in society, we are more vocal and visual than ever before. Yes, we still have a hard road ahead of us, but we have more rights than anytime in modern history. Not only that, the age of technology and the internet has made it easier than ever to reach out to others. On a side note, your sexuality on the Kinsey Scale may vary based on genetics.3

Please understand your refusal to act on natural impulses does not make you a ‘convert’ no matter how hard the religious fundies try to say otherwise. Teaching yourself to hate or deny your id is wrong and unhealthy at best. The real damage often comes from trying to force yourself to be something you aren’t, straight. Not only do we end up hurting ourselves, we also hurt people around us.

I won’t tackle the religion angle here other than to make one point. The fundamental failure in religious interpretation is the failed assumption sexuality is a choice vs genetic. Science (and nature) has consistently shown sexuality is tied as much to our genetics as anything else. And frankly, how much gall does it take for someone who is straight to try and tell someone who is gay its a choice?  So because you (as a straight person) can’t identify with being gay, it must be a choice? Oh yeah Watson, brilliant deduction skills there. /sarcasm.

Back to the topic. Ultimately, you have to do what you think is right for you. I would argue you will spend more amounts of time more trying to hide it than you ever would dealing with the issues that come up over being honest. Hiding behind fear is not the answer. To borrow a phrase, “fear is the mind-killer”. It will cripple you and potentially do irreparable harm to your mental/physical well-being. IMHO, you cannot deny such a fundamental tenant of your existence. To do so only works for so long. Eventually the id finds a way to express itself, be it emotional or physical. Oh and don’t think for a moment living a ‘straight’ life with discreet encounters on the side makes you any more straight. You are only deluding yourself. Chances are high, your family, friends, coworkers, etc probably already know or suspect.  Humans have innate senses and often put things together whether it be on a conscious level or not.

I have a firm belief the driving force in society changing peoples minds is each of us living openly and honest.  People quickly realize we aren’t that much different when you get right down to it. Yeah, we enjoy same sex relationships, but otherwise we are pretty much the same. Our only ‘agenda’ is to have the same basic rights afforded everyone else under the law, free of persecution; the pursuit of life, love, and happiness. We have the same goals, ideals, hopes and dreams.

So that is my answer. Take it as you will.




  1. Ironically, I later turned myself into the very same stereotype in an attempt to fit in. []
  2. Not to mention, the very thought of sex with a woman totally grossed me out. lol []
  3. Not everyone ranks as polar opposites, totally straight or gay. It may take you some time to figure this part out. []