National Coming Out Day 2013
Well hello dear readers! I have been a busy bee and unable to update here as often as I would like. But, being that today is National Coming Out Day, I thought I should pop over and say hi 😉
Last year I wrote the story of when and how I came out to my parents, but when I was thinking about this today, I really came out before that to my best friend. I’ve written about V before here, but it was so long ago, I will tell a bit of the story again.
I was 17 and just beginning my senior year of high school. V was an exchange student from France that was living with the gym teacher and his wife, who was the cheer-leading coach. Cheering was huge at my high school. We had been state champs 6 years in a row at that point. Anyway, she was at cheering practice when I pulled up to the school and saw her there. We met and the coach asked me to take V home, as she was tired and bored. Let me say again this was the first time I ever met her! I agreed and drove her home.
V barely spoke any English, and she awkwardly asked me to come inside. I went in and we sat in the kitchen, trying to talk to each other. She then offered me a banana. They were green, but I couldn’t figure out how to explain that they weren’t ripe yet. We each tried to peel our banana, with no success, and she finally got out a knife. Once we got enough of the skin off, we both took a bite at the same time, and you should have seen our faces! She spit hers out, and we both started laughing. I was trying so hard to be polite that I tried to eat an unripe banana! That day was just the first of many, many days we spent together that year. We became best friends (and still laughed about that story for years).
Then it happened, as it inevitably did with almost all of my best friends: I fell for her. I think my crush was heightened due to the fact that she would tease me and make me feel like I actually had a chance with her. That entire year was torture for me because I was definitely not out, and was just putting the pieces together about why I wasn’t happy dating men. You know those crush feelings? Where you always believe something will happen and it is sweet bliss coursing through you? Yeah, that was how I felt for about 9 months. Then, one night, we came this close to doing something about it. We didn’t have sex, but what we did do, she was very into. We stopped, I only assume because it scared us both. That was in 1995, and the world was a lot less accepting of gay people than it is now. The next day, she wouldn’t talk to me. I was devastated because I thought we had finally made a break through. When we finally did talk, she said she wasn’t into it, it scared her, and that she’s not gay. It broke my heart. I admitted that I did enjoy it, but that it wouldn’t happen again, and I wanted us to remain close. She agreed.
Over the next few months, she kept flirting and giving me false hope. She began to kiss me when we saw each other sometimes (not long kisses, but kisses nonetheless) and even practiced giving hickies on my stomach. (She used the ruse that she was practicing for guys, yeah right!) I was head over heels for her. It was definitely the first time I felt anything romantic for anyone.
Just before she left, I made a video of her in all of our favorite places. I still have it. In one part, she was sitting at the top of the hill in our cemetery – one of our favorite places to go – talking about our year, and she said “I don’t regret anything.” I knew what she meant at that moment, and I couldn’t believe my ears. The next day, I went to her house to say goodbye, and there in her driveway I said the words I had never said to anyone. I said, “I don’t want to scare you, but I think I am bi.” (I didn’t use the word gay yet, not until 2 years later). She didn’t seem surprised at all and I think she even said she had guessed it. How could she not?!
Unfortunately she didn’t come out to me too that day, but she did accept me and gave me a hug. She came back to visit a year later with her boyfriend and was trying to be flirty, but by then I was over it and onto someone new.
Whenever I think about my coming out story, I always think of V. She is the reason I realized who I am! I would not change that for anything. She’s married now and has at least one child, and I haven’t spoken to her in years. She will always be a part of me no matter what.
At the time I wanted nothing more than to be with her forever. Oh, how naive we are at that age! I am very glad we never became a couple because who knows where I would be right now? I am very happy with the way my life turned out. V helped me figure out a lot of things about myself, but ultimately she wasn’t the one. That place was saved for my one and only love – my wife 😉
Happy National Coming Out Day everyone!!