Originally posted on MySpace on Tuesday, April 25, 2006
It all started in January of 2005 when I put money down on my own condo. I started to think about my independence and what changes this will bring to my life. A few busy months at work and dealing with the house went by. Then April rolled around and thoughts about the changes my life will soon have re-entered my mind. That’s when the recurring dreams about telling *them* started. I started thinking about telling someone, but who to tell? There was an on-line acquaintance who I have drawn up a nice, friendly platonic relationship with. He told me at first that he thought he was bi then came to the realization that he is gay. So I decided what the heck, so I told him about me. Like me, he asked all the usual questions. I later told another IRC chatter who was openly gay. When I came back from my trip to Greece, I decided to tell others in an IRC chat room that I frequented. The participants in this chat room tended to be quite liberal and were quite supportive. Its to be noted that nothing happened in Greece to make me decide to do this, just that I had time to think.
Several busy months went by. I closed on the condo in August and moved in September. That month between closing and moving were beyond hectic. Between buying all new stuff for my new condo (silverware and some dishes I got from my mom who was all too eager to give them to me), waiting for furniture (mis)deliveries, getting utilities transfered, and all my stuff moved there was little time to think of anything else. I got myself settled in and slowly got situated with my new life (shorter commute means more time to do condo related stuff).
Then October 11, 2005 came. I was in my new place for about 3 weeks. I decided to “celebrate” National Coming Out Day by telling my long time (12+ years) online friend from Italy. There was nothing we kept from each other (except this). Up to now the only people I told were some people on an IRC channel, not a long time friend who is more than just ASCII text on a screen (we’ve video chatted, done voice chat, I’ve done Net Meeting tech support, etc). So I told him. Up until this point, I never knew what his opinion was with gay people. He was very, very supportive and I got to find out another aspect of his life.
The dreams about telling *them* continued at least 3 times a week. The dreams varied, sometimes it was a good experience, sometimes it was a nightmare. Often I don’t remember my dreams, but these I did. The majority of the dreams were positive.
Months went by and I decided to tell one of my best friends from college, who also not only has the same first name as me, but the same birthday. He was my first “in real life” person that I told. Like everyone else, he was very supportive. He didn’t ask me a lot of questions (which was an interesting change of pace) but was quite nice about it.
Throughout this whole time there were points I wanted to tell *them* but the right opportunity never came up. I can’t tell *them* in an e-mail. Calling them up and telling them isn’t a good way of doing it. It has to be face to face, so I decided to not tell *them*.
There was a “scholar in residence” at what will soon be my new shul (synagogue) the weekend of my 34th birthday. While I didn’t attend the Saturday lecture, it was about gays and Judaism. Well, this synagogue has *them* as members and they went. No face-to-face opportunities to talk to *them* about this lecture came up.
Surprisingly, around this time the dreams stopped.
The two of *them* went on vacation to Europe and I was invited to the house for the two Seders. It was just the three of us. So on Wednesday April 12,2006 I went to their house. On my drive to their house, out of the blue I started thinking about telling *them*. We had a nice, quick 20 minute first half of the Seder and then it was time for dinner. This was my opportunity to ask about the talk the scholar in residence gave about Jews and homosexuality. In a nutshell he said that Judaism accepts it as a natural thing (this is a pretty liberal synagogue in the Conservative movement) and people are just born that way. I then asked *them* if they felt the same way. They said yes.
I then told *them*, I mean, my parents that I am gay.
The dream had become literal, but which dream is it going to be?
I quickly found out that the result, in real life, was just how I dreamed it. The response from my mom and was, “yes, we know.” My dad asked me if I have a boyfriend. I asked my mom why she never asked me and she felt that when the time was right, I would tell them. Apparently after I moved out, my parents had a brief chat wondering if I would tell them. When I said that I couldn’t believe how supportive they are and how great they were in my announcement, my mom literally shrugged in a way that said that it was no big deal. My dad said that it must’ve been a big load off of my mind to finally tell them. They first figured that I was gay at age 17 when a girl was flirting with me and I showed zero interest. I wasn’t even 100% sure then, but I was coming to that realization. I suppose the best way I can sum up their reaction was if I told someone that the sky is blue.
Coming out didn’t end there. Now that I had told them, I felt a little bit freer. That’s when I decided to update the MySpace profile and check off “gay” for my sexual orientation. I suppose at that point I officially “came out” on the Internet.
The day I told my parents, I discussed telling my aunt. Both my parents felt that she would be supportive. I was planning to visit her on April 23. The day I got home from my parents I e-mailed my aunt to remind me that I had something important to tell her that must be told in person. The 23 came and I went to see my aunt along with my parents. After I finished setting up the home networking on her TiVo, I told her. He response was literally “so what?” She then told me about another member of her family who is bi.
So there you have it, my coming out story. People at work don’t know, but some are on my “friends” list. If they come to my profile and find out, so be it. Ironically, my place of work just started a gay-lesbian group at its worldwide corporate headquarters this week, but the timing of the meeting didn’t work out for me. I see no gain for me to outright tell people at work, but if someone asks, I will tell them.