Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had to explain my being “gay” or “lesbian”. If you have friends, then they want to know “Why didn’t you tell me” they asked? I never had to ask them if they were straight. No one ask a straight person that. They look at you like your taboo. No wonder coming out is so hard for some of us. I don’t feel I owe anyone an explanation about my sexuality.
I was in my twenties when I first came out. I remember going out to my first gay club, it was ladies night. I walked in and my eyes just lit up. There was loud music, flashing lights but mostly, women. “Wow”, I thought, I’ve never seen so many women. I felt alive and excited. I’ve been to going to straight clubs for years, but this was different. There were no men. Women were everywhere. They were dancing, laughing, flirting with each other and just having a ball. No more sitting around waiting for a man to ask me to dance. No more feeling like I was out of place. This is where I belong.
After going out for a while, I met this girl I’ll call her Lanett at one of the clubs. She was a girl that had been going to that club for some time. She was with two of her friends who were trying to talk to me, but I was interested in them. I wanted to meet her. One of her friends told me don’t mess with her she was crazy. I was just coming out so I didn’t believe them at the time. That night we spent driving around talking and getting to know each other.
It had been a few days later I came home from work and I walked through the door and to my surprise, Lanett was sitting on the couch. I still lived home at the time with my parents and sister. Well there she was sitting there next to my sister along with my mother who was sitting at the table. My heart sank. My mother knew I was had been going out to gay clubs with my sister who was bisexual and now she sees this girl sitting here. She wasn’t stupid. They both gave me this very uncomfortable look. I sat there thinking, what in the world was she doing here and how did she know where I lived? What the hell? I was so angry but I couldn’t show it. I quickly told them she was a friend and hurried up out of there.
After telling Lanett off, I drove home trying to figure out what I was going to tell my mother. When I got home, my mother was still sitting there waiting for me. I didn’t know what she talked about with this Lanette, but I knew she knew from the look on her face she knew. I sat down trying to prepare myself for what she was going to say next. She said, “You know that’s wrong don’t you?” I said “I know according to the Bible it’s wrong”. And that was it. I never heard anything else about it. You know I never knew how she would react to it; I guess I was so busy getting used to it myself. I knew I would have to tell her eventually, but this wasn’t how I expected. She didn’t put me out or anything or threaten me in any way; she just left it at that. Now when my mother told my father he didn’t like it. He said I should have married this guy I dated back in the day. Well like a lot of females, I dated guys as a cover. I had no deep feelings for him and I had no intention on marrying that guy. Life went on pretty normal after that. She still loved me and that’s what mattered to me the most.
“I’m gay. Those two words are sometimes the hardest to say. Why are these two words so important for people to know? The fear of pain and rejection from the people we love. People come out in different ways. For me, the coming out wasn’t the hardest part, it was telling my parents. You know the bad part about it, I had a brother and sisters and they never had to explain that they were straight, so why did I have to? This I felt wasn’t at all fair.
There’s always someone in our lives that we fear of telling, because these people are the most important people to you that you care about what they are going to say or how they are going to feel. These are the people we want their acceptance. The coming out to other people didn’t matter. Even my brother and sisters knowing didn’t matter but my parents; I didn’t want them to be hurt and feel ashamed of me.
My situation wasn’t as bad as other gay friends around me; others were going through some real bad situations. I was glad to have a mother that didn’t condone, but she accepted me.