We’re There for the Other no Matter What
It isn’t a self-realizing, Brokeback Mountain-type of coming out story you’d think it would be. My life was not a bunch of chocolates, rainbows, or a musical with backup dancers lighting the way to Good Morning Baltimore. No, I am a gay boy living in Northern Ontario, living like other gay boys here.
It was the first experience I had as a gay man and I remember it very well.
My first experience as a gay man happened when I was watching straight porn. You know, where the man pretends to love the woman for a brief moment to get a little action when she only wanted a pizza. “Was this real life? Was this love?” I thought to myself. The man rings the doorbell, the woman answers in a night robe. He says, “You ordered a pizza. It’s $15.00.” She responds, “I’m sorry. I seem to have forgotten my wallet upstairs. How ‘bout you come in while I grab it?” She asks winking slyly at the delivery boy. The man walks in closing the door behind him and sits on the couch waiting patiently for her return. She comes down the stairs and sits right beside him. “I’m sorry. I don’t have my wallet. Can I repay you in a different way?” Their eyes meet, lips are licked, heat is rising between them. She reaches for his shirt and unbuttons it moving from top to bottom slowly revealing his 6-pack abs, no-body fat stomach, amazing pecs, and bulging arms. For me, it was history, my gay history, women just didn’t cut it after that moment and I didn’t know why.
Flash forward 6 years later when I told everyone I was gay. Yes, it took 6 years and a lot of headaches to tell people that I was different. The funny thing is that I wasn’t different but people didn’t see me any other way than who I was to them. So I presented myself as a loving, caring, and compassionate gay male by putting out a Facebook message to all my friends and some of my family. “Send it all in one go.” I thought. The good thing about this plan was that everyone would know and that I didn’t have to go into more detail. Those who supported and loved me would be there and those who didn’t would not have any means of getting to me because the internet was a safe haven. I wasn’t surprised by the response. I hoped it would be like a girl’s sweet 16 party being brought out to the world, presents everywhere, balloons and drinks all around. No, it was just, “Yup, we know.” This isn’t a bad thing but I did dream of a bit more extravagance at this coming out moment. Even without the fanfare I gladly put a checkbox beside my friends and some of my family. It was then time to move on to the two people I dreaded the most telling: my parents.
My mother already knew. She knew from the day I was born that I was a different boy who loved things that other little boys didn’t like. She realized early on that even though I was different I was still her little boy and that nothing would ever change that. My father, however, glossed over everything and focused on his traditional views of marriage and what a man should be. I can’t blame him because it was the only thing he knew. I sat them both down one evening and explained to them who I was. My father was surprised while my mother just grinned knowingly. My father cried that evening. I’ve only seen my father cry twice in my life: once at his father’s funeral and once when I told him I was gay. It wasn’t the easiest relationship after that day, but it was a relationship that my father and I carry to this day. We respect each other and our differences. We argue because we care and we’re there for the other no matter what. It works for us.
Coming out for me was not as big a deal as people expect it to be. I felt loved, experienced compassion, worry, and a sense of family that will never leave me. I’m happy I came out the way I did because it made me who I am today and I realize what love was shared on those days when I came out.