Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Coming Out Nudge

I received an email from my friend Kevin in response to yesterday's blog post titled, "Why Are Gay Men Insecure?". His words express a lot of thoughtful insights about "coming out" (revealing his sexual orientation) to others. I had no idea that my writings would inspire him in this way. I'm truly touched.
I [was] thinking how blessed I have been by a close friendship over the years and decided that I was doing that friendship a disservice. There would always be this part of myself that I would keep hidden. It wasn't the fear that we would no longer be close friends, I don't believe there's anything that would change that. But it was fear that [coming out to her] would forever alter her perception of me.

My greatest regret is that I didn't have the courage or wisdom to share this with my mother while she was alive. When I realized that it was the very same fear that kept me from telling my mother, I knew things had to change. I had to face this insecurity, move past it, and deal with life honestly and courageously.

So, better than any critique I could give about the points you so very eloquently made in your post, I simply say your words have touched my heart and moved me off the fence and into action. I thank you for that. I'm choosing not to delude myself any longer. If you truly care for family and friends, keeping this simple fact from those you care about harms the relationship you have with them. You never give them the opportunity to love you and not the false representation you've given them.
Life is short: be yourself, and have confidence that true friends will not forsake you if you come out to them. Family, if they love you as they proclaim, won't either. (I know; been there, done that... and while there is no t-shirt for it, the immense sense of relief that you feel when you confide your sexual orientation to those who love you is tremendous, and immeasurable.)

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