Mike Drew

December 1999

Come out where you are. Come out where you feel comfortable. For me computer geekdom was great, and I came out. I'm a gay computer technician and people know that, I'm sure. I don't dress that nice on a day-to-day basis. I don't match and sometimes wear the same pair of shorts two days in a row (oops) but it doesn't matter, they are always clean. So I came out like that. My non-refined look is a product of absentmindedness and just plain laziness, but still with my sloppy hair, and half shaven face I looked my parents in the eyes and said I'm gay. My voice is way down low and has proven to be one of the main reasons I'm considered straight most of the time. Which seems ridiculous I know. My friends are all guys, minus three. But most of the time I hang out with guys, straight ones. They always call me the straightest one of all of us.

All my life I saw gay people as everything I wasn't. I didn't like to shop, I don't make funny hand gestures, I'm not into acting. But growing up I saw this, and I equated that as being gay. I looked in the mirror when I was in my early teens and saw a gay boy and I was scared that I would become what I so didn't fit into. So I grew and a couple of years ago when I finally told my parents they were surprised. When I told my best friend, he was surprised. They said, but you don't act gay. And when I slapped a rainbow triangle in the back window of my '67 red mustang (which I actually do work on (a little)) my neighbors, co workers, and friends were also surprised. Maybe because of my deep voice, maybe because of my sloppy look, or perhaps because I was not what they saw as what a gay person should be.

This is why every gay person when they choose to come out must come out where they are. Don't run away and just be another face in the "gay" part of town. Don't come out only to your gay friends. Make it known that gay people exist in every city , every profession and in every walk of life. Remove the awe from the gay community and let the other 90% of the people know we are them, they are us.

Mike Drew

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