I Finally Said It Out Loud.
I said it aloud for the first time yesterday.
It’s a bit of a blur, but I’m quite sure the words “I’m not straight” came out of my mouth at one point or another.
We sat in Trinity Bellwoods Park. I needed it to be there. I had planned to do it there and nothing could run astray from my plans – the timing had to be right, the place, the weather, everything had to be precisely as I had planned. It just had to be.
Like a YouTube video, on cue, I choked up before I could even
get through start the sentence. I started talking about my relationship with my family and how they had never asked about a boyfriend (which I found weird. At the same time, they know I hate talking about that kinda stuff with them and I’d probably retreat into my head or phone). Then the gateway – “I don’t even know if I’ll end up with a man”.
I picked my words pretty precisely. Everything I said in those 15 minutes was either meticulously thought out (marinading in my head for two years) or a babble of half-english sounds. There was no in-between. And I ended on the same line of thought as I’d begun – I don’t know what I am, I just know what I’m not.
It was the most collectively emotionally, mentally, physically draining thing I had ever done. My head was numb from the emotion, I couldn’t speak words, and it was difficult getting up and walking. I just wanted to sit for an hour.
But that’s the thing with my “story”: part of the reason why it took me so long (I’m 23) was because my closer friends are not in the same city as me. It’s a mission to meet up, even for drinks or food. And at this age, we’re all tied down to our new jobs, and we’re at the bottom of the office food chain. I almost didn’t come out because my friend had to leave for a family event. Of course, that was nothing compared to the magnitude of this conversation, as my friend assured me, but it was a nagging and insecure sense that this was an inconvenience – I know, nothing logical, this is far more important, but… well, I guess the irrationality of it paints a picture of how delicate and fragile this whole thing was to me.
Plus I didn’t feel I was “ready”. I still don’t.
Right after, I met up (deliberately) with another friend – a proud, recently out, bisexual man. He’s been very vocal since he came out about his sexuality and in fact posted the day before about how he was tired of hiding anything about him and he swore to be loud and proud about everything (not restricted to his sexuality).
Within 2 hours of saying it for the very first time, I thought I’d be able to carry the momentum over and it’d be easier the second time. Nope. He had to exclaim “spit it out!” after my mouth gaped stupidly open trying to find the words, before I blurted it out. “I’m not straight.”
The last word was hushed, almost a whimper. He gave me a big long hug, and I had to fight back tears (/uncry).
His advice to me was that it gets easier. There will be times in and out of the closet, depending on situations, and that’s totally fine. I asked him when he first came out. He was moving in with a roommate, who gave him full disclosure that he was gay – and it was just the right time for him to come out.
It’s scary and exhausting putting all this in words. I had several pangs throughout today, remembering what happened yesterday. I feel like I’m still in “denial”. The string of words just don’t roll well in my mouth and as I say it in my head, I can’t help but pronounce the last word with an upswing in tone, as though it’s a question.
I don’t know.
I just know what I’m not.
WELL. Two down, 7 billion more to go.