I think it’s safe to say I reached a huge coming out milestone last Saturday: I came out to a family member for the first time.
My brother had moved the living room TV into his bedroom since I’d moved out. For the past while I’d been having trouble Netflixing on my laptop and done it on my tablet instead. But since I’d only had my laptop with me, I had to go to his room the past few times I’d been back home if I wanted to Netflix. I’d since fixed the problem, but the privacy of his room was part of my coming out plan.
Also, I really wanted to catch up on The 100… so.
We watched a few episodes before I got up to close the door. He didn’t even flinch. As I paused the episode at the opening credits, I was struck with a slight hesitation. “Just continue the show, press play, and you won’t have to do this” said a little voice in my head. But I’ve learned to ignore these voices.
Earlier that evening, we had gotten into quite an intense argument over dinner at a restaurant. I decided to bring up that I liked all the qualities of one of our male friends, but it bugs me so much that he still says “that’s so gay”. Instead of agreeing, full stop, he said “Yeah… But there are worse things than that”.
Of course I had to dog him down! It escalated quickly, as it usually does when we argue. He didn’t get that there is no excuse, no comparison, for joking at the expense of an already-suppressed group. It got to the point where he fumed “Why are you so against it? Are you gay?”
I froze. Then my subconscious recalled that my mother, sitting obliviously and quietly across the table with my father, had almost-rhetorically commented on my jacket being the one my brother bought for her for Christmas. I latched onto it and jumped conversation-ships. “Wait, huh?” I turned to my mother. She repeated her question, and my brother seemed not to notice my deliberate pivot. Our argument subsided… for now. I wasn’t going to do this in front of my parents and him. It would be on my own terms – one by one.
“So… remember… at the restaurant earlier… when we had that debate?”
“You asked me if I was gay”
“And I didn’t answer cuz mom asked about the jacket out of nowhere?”
“Haha yeah. They’re always so oblivious.”
“Haha. Yeah. But when you asked me if I was gay… I never really answered the question”
I still cant look people in the eye when I come out to them. I couldn’t tell his expression.
“… You see where I’m going with this…?”
“… Are you sure?”
We talked for hours that night into the morning. We started with the typical questions like “So, how did you know? Like when did you know?”. This I was prepared for. “Well it’s like me asking you, ‘how did you know when you were straight?’ You just do.”
I’ve been waiting for my brother to grow up for most of my life (we actually openly admitted this that night – in fact, he brought it up. “I was a dick most of highschool”). But he showed immense maturity when we talked about something that serious. He made sure to note that all the questions he was asking was just so he could understand it more from my perspective since he hadn’t had anyone queer confide in him before. He’s barely 20.
My favourite part was when we talked about our “girl problems“. I told him about the Friday night before (previous post). He said he’d had the exact same problem with a girl inviting him to her dorm and saying the exact same thing while they were alone. Whereas my problem was being too inebriated, his was that she was in a long-distance relationship. I guess his is more legitimate, but THE POINT IS, I didn’t realize how fucking related we were until that moment. Are girl problems genetic?
At one point, he brought up that the possibility had crossed his mind “Am I gay or bi?” but he quickly came to the conclusion that no, he was straight. He elaborated “Guys are too lacking in emotion… They’re so rough. I can’t love that. Girls are so much more emotional and I think that’s beautiful”.
I getchu, bro. I getchu.