Six and Seven – The Most Seamless Time(s) I Came Out
At this point, the number is just a guesstimate. I’ve lost track and maybe it’s for the better.
I went to San Fran last week for vacation – it’s ridiculously chic and I want to live there. It wasn’t a deliberate trip, I was in LA for a family vacation and I thought hey, I might as well drop by San Francisco and meet up with a few highschool friends (working at Facebook, Google, etc.).
Two of them were an ambiguously gay female couple in high school that proclaimed themselves as “best friends”. I’d say I was on good terms with them, and we were good friends, but we were never too close because I felt like there was a thin barrier that barring me from them for some reason (which I found out later, see below). Either way, it was almost always a fun time with them.
Five years after graduation, we met up in Toronto and got caught up with our lives; they were working for tech companies and moving soon to SF. It was a very abruptly scheduled meetup (“Let’s go for coffee tomorrow” – they were coming downtown from the outer suburbs of Richmond Hill) and I soon found out why there was an inkling of desperation. Henceforth identified as R and S, R casually went into the topic of travelling with her girlfriend and S and her boyfriend. I almost spat out my beer. I couldn’t hold in the surprise… so I directed it at S’s relationship status (even though I knew). I never got confirmation that R was gay, let alone had a girlfriend. Note: I’m too forward with my emotions and this is something that needs working on when it comes to reacting to people coming out; I mean well – just that I get too self conscious and overthink things.
Long story short, they further revealed they basically dated for two years during high school without anyone knowing, but only one of them currently identifies as gay while the other identifies as straight. I wasn’t shocked per se, but it seemed to come out of nowhere. Anyway, this weight off their shoulders brought us a lot closer… not to mention relieving clarity.
Fast forward to last week on the plane to SF… I had run through different scenarios of how I could come out to them months in advance – would this be too casual? Should I bare all emotionally and present myself in my weakest, most vulnerable form? Can I even get them alone? Will I have the balls to go through with it?
R hosted a barbecue for all her techy friends and I was invited. I met some interesting people, but nobody of fancy (I’ve figured out that I’m attracted to white girls above all… and there was a total of zero at the party). I chatted with one of her more socially awkward but unabashedly forward friends, M, and afterwards a small group of us, S and her boy included, went to a diner for late night eats. This is where it got shockingly uncomfortable:
We split tables since each carseat could only handle four. After some chatter at the small table with us four, M turns to me and says “I have a question which may or may not be really awkward.” Unsuspectingly, I say “go ahead, shoot”.
“Are you into guys or girls?”
My mouth dropped open at how blunt that was. I stared at the other two, who blanked and looked half as confused as I was. I brushed it off and got lucky with his stumbling, which he ended up being embarrassed about and quickly changed the subject. Although I do suspect my avoidance to the answer was an answer in itself. (Note: yes, I was wearing very tomboy-like clothes since I didnt know I wouldn’t get a chance to change once I got off the plane)
Later that night, I was at S’s getting ready for bed, and I brought it up a few times… and the conversation went in a few directions and when I brought it back one more time, S finally followed up with “… But you never really answered.”
And that led into the smoothest, most seamless coming out experience. I told her about how I’ve avoided coming to terms with it for the past 23 years and who I’ve come out to.
But the most surprising thing was that by talking it out to someone, I ventured into an idea tucked deep in the back of my head that I never knew was there: I explained that why I chose to come out (to myself as well as others) now. I came out because I subconsciously knew that I fucked up with someone (maybe more than one person) that I really liked, whose advances I pretended to not notice, who I bantered around with for a few months, before she found someone else. As I realized in realtime while I was explaining to S, I didn’t want to come to terms with who I was and by not doing that, I was pushing away chances at love… and that I would not be able to find and accept love until I accepted who I am.
I just never thought I could be with her – and I still think it’ll be a disaster – she’s pretty broken (which is unfortunately why I’m attracted to her) but she has so much potential. And I am a selfish, impatient person.
S and I had been talking for a while and when I realized it was 4am, I thought I had opened up enough for one night.
R and S drove me to the airport on Sunday night. I still hadn’t told R yet. I was relatively quiet throughout dinner since I had that on my mind. Fittingly, we took a stroll through Castro – the gayest neighbourhood possibly in all of America. I tried to come out there (to go with the theme lol) but there was just no right time.
Next thing I know, we were in the car to the airport. It was now or never. I began with what M asked and how ridiculous it was… and that led to myself. I found it harder for some reason (was it because I had no prompt, like S prompted me?) and to my own surprise I almost choked when I stumbled to “And the reason is…. well… I… uhh….. ummm…….. I think I prefer girs?”. And I went from there.
An important thing that came from talking with such a confident, lesbian, friend was when I told her the story of how I fucked up and how I think it’ll be a disaster if I ended up being with the girl, she told me “well you could’ve fixed her and set her right”. I had no words but “… fuck”. We didn’t have as much time to chat as I wanted – I’m sure she had solid valuable insight, but because I’d started so late, we were already at the airport and had been chatting for a while in a no-park zone.
Also, in hindsight, maybe it was dangerous to come out to someone while they’re driving, but hey you know what – there’s never a “right time” (just a safe one).
It was a good trip, and I’m relieved to have told them – it was important to me that I came out to them. I know I shouldn’t feel like I EVER owe anybody telling them my sexuality… but I felt like I owed these two, especially since they came clean with me earlier this year. It was a good trip.