Joshua N.

November 1999

Peeking through the Keyhole

Last month I left off where I met a guy named Ben on the Internet, right? Well, let's continue from that point as I started my process of coming out of the closet and being myself.

It took me two months to gather the courage I needed to even decide to tell my straight friends about my sexuality and took me about two weeks after that to plan and rehearse what I planned to tell them ( I am a very careful person and I try to foresee all the different outcomes that I could encounter when making any action so I can respond to it in the most efficient and positive way). After my last rehearsal with Ben I decided to tell one of my best friends -- who was a girl -- about me at school, and so I did. The next day I asked her to meet me in front of her last period classroom because I really needed to talk to her.

I was very nervous for the next 50 minutes of my last class. As the clock approached the end of the period, time almost slowed down to a crawl as I counted every second in the minutes that led to the ring. I got my books and backpack and with a stare to the floor left the room and, as I raised my head, scanned the door of her classroom for any signs of her. Indeed she was there, looking at me back with a puzzled look on her face. She didn't have the slightest idea what I was about to tell her and was very scared herself, I could see it in her eyes. I said hello and asked her if she was ready to go and with a slight angle of her head answered yes, asking me with her eyes "what is wrong"? I couldn't even look at her and asked her to follow me.

We went all the way out of school and into the parking lot and asked to leave her things inside my car so they wouldn't get dirty and so she did, not knowing what to think or to say. She looked at me and sat on the side of my car, just a few feet in front of her. I looked in her eyes and couldn't help but feel that what I was doing was wrong and wanted to forget about it. But I didn't back off, but I couldn't say it either, so we started a chaotic game of charades. Five minutes later she guessed and said the word "Bi" to me and I said "Bingo!". She was dumbfounded and couldn't take her mouth off the floor. After what seemed like an eternity to me, she smiled and gave me a great excited hug and told me she loved me anyway and would help me in any way she could.

I smiled as I hugged her back for I had done something so incredible in my life that it felt so good. I also knew that what I have done can never be undone and so I could not step back, I was out and so I was bisexual for ever for it was no longer a secret. Of course, she wasn't the last person I told for I still had my other friends.

The next person was another of my best friends. Actually he has been my best friend for the last seven years of my life. We are complete opposites in many ways, but for some reason we are very close and feel almost the same person. Unfortunately for me, he was also a big homophobic and so it was very hard for me to accept the fact that I had to tell him. Two weeks after I told my girl best friend I decided to tell my guy best friend that I was indeed bisexual. It was even harder to get courage to tell him for the reason I already stated. For this encounter I decided to get some artificial "guts" to do it, so I took him to our usual bar and had a few drinks.

After guzzling two pitchers of their finest beer I felt good enough to tell anyone and guilty enough to proceed with my plan. You see, though I knew I had to tell him my mind could not find a good reason to tell him. Someone once said "Ignorance is Bliss" right, and isn't it true? Sometimes it is better to keep something a secret as to not hurt the people you loved. But then, with alcohol running through my system I noticed something: not telling him was hurting me more than anything, for he was indeed my best friend and I had been lying for the past seven years of our friendship. And that, in my opinion, is not a good friendship. So I told him I had to tell him something and asked him to finish his last glass of beer as I went to the bathroom. In the bathroom there is a mirror and with that mirror I had my last conference before I would do it again, change both our lives forever.

Stepping out into the common room I saw him sitting there, glass empty and with a smile in his face. For some reason he felt proud that he had finished an entire glass of beer in only a couple of minutes. I smiled and motioned for him to join me from the table and we left the bar and into the breeze of the shore just a dozen meters away. He followed me to the boardwalk, bugging me about what I was going to tell him. He was more curious and excited than scared, nothing like when I told my other friend. Most likely the booze. I told him to sit down with the most serious tone I could make with the present situation at hand, he complied as I started passing in front of the inclined rock wall he had chosen to sit down on. Doubts entered my mind once more as I was either going to make our friendship even greater or was going to make him go into a chaotic frenzy of hate or remorse.

Without going around the bush I told him. He sat still, figuring out what I just said, maybe even thinking if he heard it right. He smiled at me and told me that he accepted me for I was and he was happy as long as I was happy. We actually started joking about it and I sighed in relief as our friendship looked to be intact. Unfortunately, I was very wrong. I left him at his house and went back home and slept like a baby that night, feeling much relieved. Two days later at my graduation party I saw him again. We said hello and then he took me aside from the rest of my friends. In a secluded corner of the Hall he asked me if what I had told him was a horrible nightmare. I said no, indeed what I had told him was true. I am Bi. He looked dumbfounded. His opinion changed dramatically. He said that he didn't think what I was doing was right, God created us to fall in love with women, not men. But still he didn't care because I was his friend. He told me all this with an edge to his words, almost like his tongue had morphed into a dagger and his words into a whip. All night we only spoke for no more than 5 minutes and in that time I tried to explain to him that I was still the same person and that I didn't choose to be like this, but I didn't regret it.

With that I entered the worse depression I had ever had in my life. It lasted three weeks and next week I will narrate how I got back on my feet in the third part of my story.


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