Hello everyone, this blog post is going to be another personal anecdote. I am a gay guy, this is one of the more interesting parts of my life and this is the story of how I came out to my family. When I was younger my sexuality confused me and it took years for me to sort out. Coming out of the closet was a surprisingly scary moment, but it relieved me of shame and anxiety that built up over years of keeping this secret. This should be a little cathartic for me and might help someone who reads it.
When I was a teenager I didn't have any crushes, on guys or girls. As my friends started ogling girls and teachers of the opposite sex, I noticed that I had none of those desires. I normally just stayed quiet and blended into the background when this topic of conversation reared its head. I didn't have any sexual desires for anyone I knew in high school. However, I did start watching porn in high school. I was watching straight porn, I liked it a lot. After a while my eyes began to move and I began to focus on the men in porn. This confused me quite a bit. I had no sexual attraction to actual people and straight porn was turning me on. Yet, my focus was beginning to drift towards male porn stars in straight porn scenes. It wasn't until I was eighteen that my sexual attraction started to solidify.
I am convinced that I didn't have crushes in high school because I went to school with ugly dudes. However, when I was eighteen I started to feel sexually attracted towards other guys. However, this only confused me more because I was still turned on by straight porn, but I only wanted to have sex with dudes. Due to this confusion I did wind up having sex with a few women – it was fun but I didn't like it as much. I have an attraction towards both men and women, but the attraction is quite a bit stronger towards men. It took me a few years to sort out my sexuality. Until recently I viewed sexuality in black and white terms, you were either totally attracted to men or totally attracted to women. I was being pulled in two different directions, but one side was winning. Eventually, I was able to resolve this psychological war and come out of the closet.
Now you have the backstory that was playing out in my mind. By the time I was in my twenties I had realized that I was indeed gay. However, I had decided that until I had come out of the closet I would actively avoid acting on my sexual impulses. In other words I was volunteering for sexual repression because I thought having gay sex while in the closet was too dishonest. There were times that I failed at this mission and fucked guys. From when I was eighteen to when I was twenty-six I had sex with two different guys, years apart. While wallowing in the closet I was also experiencing a fair amount of shame. This shame was not because I felt gay sex was shameful, it was because I had been lying to my friends and family for years. I don't have a logical reason for why I repressed my sexuality or why I hid it for so long. I'm starting to think that I was just a coward. By the time I was twenty-six I decided that this self imposed torture was ridiculous – I needed to come out of the closet. There was no reason not to, my family isn't homophobic, my friends aren't homophobic, I was the only reason that I was still in the closet. With that in mind I decided that I was going to come out.
The actual process of coming out was relatively uneventful. All the drama that took place was in my own head. This happened on a Sunday morning I went out to breakfast with my parents. I had not made a decision to come out as of that morning, but I did hate being closeted. As breakfast was coming to an end I just decided that now was as good a time as any, so I blurted it out. I don't think they were expecting it, my mom was more surprised than my dad was. My dad smiled at me and told me that he was proud of me, my mom didn't say much but she was supportive. Then I quieted down for the rest of the day as it sunk in what I had told them. Later that day I wrote a letter to my brother explaining that I was gay. He wrote back telling me that he didn't care about things like that and that he was happy for me. A couple days after coming out I started to feel normal again. There was no dramatic change to my life after coming out, no one treated me any differently. There was just a feeling of relief, I had dropped my secret and felt a little bit lighter. My life became incrementally better.
From this story you can see that the actual coming out wasn't very dramatic. The drama came from what I had built up in my head. The act of telling people a secret that you had kept hidden for years was incredibly uncomfortable. However, pushing that secret into the world made life easier. I powered through one uncomfortable moment to lift a weight off my chest that had been weighing me down for years. I was the only obstacle in my way. Once I made the decision to get out of my own way I also had to break habits that had built up over years. For several years I had avoided seeking out sex, so initially the act of finding sex was very uncomfortable and took some getting used to. Simply vocalizing the words that I had refused to say for years took some getting use to, “I'm gay.” They felt strange coming out of my mouth but I quickly got over that strangeness. Unfortunately, all those years of hiding have left me with even more baggage that I'm still unpacking and sorting through.