You would think, that in a city where everyone is welcome, in a family that holds no judgments, in a school that is open to all ideas, that coming to terms with being gay would be an easy step. In a liberal culture, we hope that one day people discovering that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender will do so without even blinking an eye and neither will the people around them.
Sadly, we are no where near that reality, because there are still too many people out there that think that being gay is a bad thing, and I’m talking about the straight people (or seemingly straight people *Cough* Ted Haggard *Cough*). In a perfect world, a person’s decision to come out would not be based on exterior factors or pressure, but what they feel inside.
Even for me, a native of San Francisco, I did not want to come out. I did not want be different. I wanted to blend in – a face in a crowd of people that looked like me. I was afraid of how I would stand out and how people would treat me differently (and I know some of you are rolling your eyes thinking that’s what everyone goes through), but everyone, regardless of who they are or where they’re from, feels this at some point in their coming out process.
My coming out took months, and was painful, drawn out, and lonely. You can have all the straight friends in the world who love you, but you might still feel alone. Because, as hard as they might try to understand, straight people just. Don’t. Get it.
The first sentence of this article describes my situation a few years ago. When I finally realized I had been lying to myself for years, and that I did not want to hide who I was anymore, I began telling people, one at a time. Some were surprised, most were happy. Some turned away. And the ones that turn away are the ones you remember most clearly. Those precious few that let you go.
Now, two years later, those precious few diminish to the few that did not matter. And the ones that do matter are the ones who, when you showed them finally who you are, were the ones that said “I still love you”.
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