It started in the car, traveling to my Mom’s dojang (martial arts studio). We come to a stoplight at Rt 309 (Philly suburbs). I’m squirming in my head. We had been talking about school and a new friend named ‘James.’
While talking, I had gotten further along than I had liked and let too much on, so I couldn’t backpedal – it had to happen. I was so scared to tell her face to face – what would happen? I wasn’t afraid of being disowned or abused, I knew she’d be OK with it.
I remember exclaiming “He’s gay,” about some guy on MTV’s Real World. My mother instantly replied, “What’s wrong with that?” She didn’t hear it, but I was trying to say, “So am I!” I just couldn’t yet, so I stayed hidden behind TV shows and the musical Rent.
As we continued driving, I’m talking in circles. She asks, “What’s going on?” I reply, “I’ll tell you later, online.” Mind you, my mother and I were AIM buddies, talking via instant message (in the same house) long before Facebook and iPhones.
We were tight. I could tell her anything, but this. The conversation dropped, but she was gonna hold me to an answer. The day passed and we returned home that evening. After dinner, we were both on AIM and my heart was racing. Remember I was 15. Only child, in my own room, with my own computer, alone, nervous.
*Cue the classic AIM instant message sound*
Mom: So what’s up?
Mom: What did you want to talk about?
Me: So… I was talking about James and…
Me: You might not be having grandkids…
Me: I don’t like girls
I couldn’t even put the positive spin on it and say “I like guys.” I was a wreck. There was no reply. 5 seconds later, I hear footsteps down the hall and look to my doorway. My Mom appears, somber, sad looking. I know what is coming.
I know she loves me and loves me even more now. She motions for me to come to her room. We sit on the edge of the bed and I let it go. Crying like I have cried since. She cries too, comforts me, embracing me with support and real love.
She says it’s OK. The moment becomes a blur. She says “Me too,” and I freeze, look at her, and just keep sobbing. Does she mean what I think she does? What just happened?
“…and Dad and I are getting a divorce.”
What? I actually wasn’t surprised. It all seemed so natural and expected. They had stopped showing physical affection years ago, but I didn’t think anything of it. I was scared to tell my father. I said wait, but Mom did the right thing and went to tell him. I was still a wreck.
Every good and bad coming out story raced through my mind in 5 seconds. How long would I feel this weak and fragile? Was I ever going to feel the same again? Could I go to school tomorrow? I didn’t want to, but I don’t know why. I was already out at school. Was I the same kid?
Mom returned and a few minutes later my Father joined us in their room, embracing me too. I knew it would be OK despite his first effort at comparing me to a friend’s child that recently died. He would rather I be gay than dead. I knew what he meant, even if he didn’t quite have the words.
He was blind to the homosexual world. He never heard a coming out story before. He grew up in an era in which fairies and fags weren’t even spoke of. After things calmed down, my heart rate returned to normal, the tears were running out. We called it a night and I went to shower.
I blasted MAE’s The Everglow and My Chemical Romance’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. That music really helped me get through this part of my life. As I stood showering, crying, the steam cleansing my body and breath, I felt a relief. It happened. It was over. I’m just beginning. Just as quickly as it happened, it was over and I was back at school the next day. I was back eating dinner with Mom & Dad, watching TV, being me without a veil. Being Chad, at home, and my parents love me. That’s all there ever is or was.
If you have considered coming out, it will be the best thing you can do. For you, your friends, and society. Be brave, be you. Come out of the dark. I’m here for you.
My Coming Out Story