Are Coming Out Letters a Thing? (No)
Today I wrote a letter to apologize to a friend for something that happened one year and two months ago.
She was (and still is) a great confidante to me but I feel that our weekend vacation to Chicago put a small dent in our relationship. We never talked about it, but it’s been in the back of my mind. I could never quite explain it, but after writing it (and coming) out, it was much easier piecing things together.
Close as we were, we got closer during that trip. Being the guarded introvert that I am, things started crumbling when I realized how close she was getting and how my walls were being lowered. I wasn’t used to opening up, and the tipping point was when I brought up my belief in soulmates. I gushed about I’m sure such a thing exists and that too many people settle for what is convenient, what is around them. And yes, so many people spend their lives never meeting their soulmates that way. (In hindsight, my martyrdom for the concept of soulmates must’ve been built largely as an excuse for not finding “Mr Right”. Well WE KNOW NOW, DON’T WE.)
Of course she would ask me what I thought my soulmate would be like. It’s called predictable conversation and I should’ve anticipated it before I even brought up the topic. But nope. My defense mechanism kicked in and it was all hands on deck to quick-build these walls. Igloo that shit up. And for the rest of the vacation I was more guarded and introverted than ever.
We never talked about it, but the dent was palpable.
We still hung out and went to concerts and went on coffee dates together. But we never talked about it.
More importantly, I never apologized or explained myself. I was irritable and she may have internalized it as herself being a shitty travel buddy (her conservative parent & guardian didn’t let her travel with anyone they didn’t know at that point, and I knew them fairly well, so this was her first trip. She’s gone on to break out of her shell and goes on regular #BlackLivesMatter protests and such now.)
She’s in the Big Apple now, studying Education and Philosophy, striving to make the world a more equitable place. She’s invaluable and important to me. But before she left for the States, I just couldn’t find the right time to come out to her…
So I wrote her a letter. It doubles as an apology and as a coming out letter. In this situation I think it goes hand-in-hand because the latter explains the former. I’d never written a coming-out letter (has anyone? I don’t think it’s a thing…) and I assumed it would be much easier than coming out in person. But it wasn’t. I could feel my heart racing as I struggled to find the right words; my elbows felt weak; and I felt a little emotional as I took a break from penning each sentence. Who woulda thunk?
I only took up 3 or so sentences for the actual coming out. The letter ended quickly after, with me acknowledging that it would be better to continue the conversation in person.
I tossed in a 416 Motel themed Toronto keychain, just to remind her of home. Maybe I should also throw in some rainbow glitter for kicks.