February 1998

Continued from last month...

So that was my dad. I said two months ago that I had intended to tell my mom first, since I know she's more liberal and that she'd take it better. My dad though, told me not to tell my mom for ten or twenty years, "the longer, the better," because it'll break her heart. I still haven't told my mom yet, though I know my dad's advice was wrong. Instead, I told someone else... my aunt.

My aunt is someone who's not just family, she's a friend. I can laugh with her or be serious. Perhaps the most serious I had ever been with her was last July.

We had family over for a barbecue, my dad was cooking steaks as I recall, and my aunt was seated to my left at the table on our patio. I had a knot in my stomach, I could feel the adrenaline in my spine, I must have been just ghostly pale. I wasn't sure quite how to tell her, so I didn't outwardly just say it. I told her I wanted to tell her something, something important, but she had to guess, I was giving her twenty questions.

I thought she'd get it right off the bad seeing how serious I was. I honestly thought she had a clue. But her questions were just things like, "You're getting a dog?" So she used up her twenty questions, and I told her just to come into my room and I'd tell her, we shut the door, she sat down on the floor and asked "Okay, what is it?" I still couldn't just say it, I got out a little scrap of paper, write down the single word, "gay," onto it and tossed it to her. She picked it up off the carpet, looked at it, and her immediate response was, "no way...." She thought it was a joke, I just said that no, it was true. I felt the knot in my stomach untie, and my pressure subside.

Coming out to someone is one of the biggest things you'll ever do, and there's no one right way to do it. However, it is worth it, and I trust that you reading this, will choose if you haven't already, the right person. It is the biggest freaking rush I had ever felt.

So now I had two people who knew, one of the reasons I felt I had to tell my aunt was because at that time, only my dad knew, and I didn't want him to have the power that comes with knowing something like that over me.

The rest of the summer was relatively uneventful, my summer job earned me some cash, but managed to take a large chunk of my precious summer days away from me.

The best way to end this three-part tale of my coming out process is to describe my craving to be more open. The first account of my trying to be more open was on a trip to the local bookstore, the big type, with a cafe in it. I was browsing through the magazine racks as usual before my family came in, and as usual I rushed right to XY, flipped through it quickly and put it back before anyone saw me browsing through it. Today, however, I was sick of it, why should I have to be nervous of other people knowing that I'm gay?

After checking out the CDs, I went back to XY, picked it up, and was about to pay for it, but it didn't seem right. I had asked my aunt two months earlier to go to the bookstore and buy a copy of it for me, but she couldn't, she felt like she was doing it behind my parents' backs. So I walked over to my dad and asked him, "Ummm... I can buy what I want with my money right? Can I buy [pause] this?" "It's your money," he answered in an almost funeralistic voice.

Did I care if he was sad I was buying XY Magazine, THE magazine for gay teen guys? Did I care if he was sad that this maybe cemented the fact that I was gay for him? Hell no. I walked over with my issue of XY to the cashier, and slapped it on the counter-top. He looked down at it, and I got nervous, my knees were wobbly, I could feel the blood rushing out of my head, I thought I would faint if he didn't say anything. He just looked up at me and smiled, he actually said "cool" as he checked it for me and rang up the total. I felt so wonderful, it felt like an initiation, a right of passage.

So this is how I came out, this is my story. Each and every one of you reading this has a story as well, and each one will have its own conclusion. I hope it's a good one.


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