Looking Back: Coming Out
Every now and then I think about the first time I came out. It was a double-whammy because it wasn’t just coming out to my “best friend”, it was also me saying it aloud to myself for the first time.
I held no qualms with the timing – I wouldn’t have been ready any earlier and it took a tipping point* – but I’m not sure if I would’ve picked the same person to come out to. Indicative from the quotations, I only used the term “best friend” out of ease to describe someone whom I’ve known for a long time and would confide in every now and then. But I don’t believe in the concept of a “best friend” – perhaps this is my trust issues talking but I don’t have that one person whom I’d completely trust with solid advice, consistent companionship, and topical conversation. If you do, then please be grateful for all the serendipity in your lives that brought the two of you together.
* I might’ve deleted the original post a while ago, explaining what forced me to come to terms with my sexuality. I may rewrite it in a separate blog, but long story short, I kept fucking up opportunities because I wasn’t willing to let others into my life and I realized it was because I hadn’t even accepted myself. The last straw was a girl whose advances I kept pushing away and she eventually got a boyfriend. Story of my life. So far.
She’s not the greatest with words (as confirmed by a mutual friend) and when I came out to her, I was in a very vulnerable state. She obviously only had the best intentions, but some things she could’ve handled better. I understand I’m the first person to come out to her and I would’ve appreciated if she’d had some words of solace and comfort that weren’t so… generic.
Perhaps with that I was asking for too much. But something that sticks out in my mind is at one point, she mentioned that she “didn’t think it would happen so close to home, and that this was only on TV”. In hindsight, accounting for the fuzz of emotions that were probably happening, it’s easy to read that for what it is: she grew up in a suburb outside of Toronto and people in her life typically conformed to gender norms, heteronormativity, and fairly conservative values. “Coming Out”s only happened on Glee. But just understand that it wasn’t something I necessarily wanted to hear in one of my most vulnerable moments and the phrasing of it felt like it implied it was on the same level as cancer.
This being said, I don’t regret anything about coming out. Would I have picked someone else to come out to? Perhaps, but I can’t say I’d want to go through that emotional roller coaster again. I did, however, come out to another friend within an hour later, who was much better with words as he himself was gay and, having recently come out, was much better with advice and words.
At the end of the day, coming out is not about the people you are around, it is about you. Yes, it’s a process of social validation, but nobody ever talks about the self-validation of coming out to someone for the first time. That day I validated my sexuality to myself.
As for the process? It is what it is.