Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Final Hurdle

I woke up December 28th, 2010 with a chill traveling down my spine. My nerves have never felt so intense as thoughts flickered through my mind building up unneeded anxiety. After weeks of in-depth conversations with my counselor gearing towards coming out to my parents, I was now staring at the circled day on my calendar in sheer apprehension. I honestly can't really remember much from that day because I couldn't stop myself from thinking at a million miles per second.

My brother and sister were in the family room. "So, are you ready for tonight!?" I was hesitant to reply to their almost simultaneous question but managed a 'yep'. I went back into my room and tried to reminisce on everything my counselor had aided me through and things she advised me to do when this day had come.

Once my dad got home from work, my family (minus my mom) went to the gym. Is it odd that I subconsciously avoided my parents that entire afternoon? I think seeing their faces only reminded me of what was to come, which only triggered a swarm of nerves through me. Luckily my dad was in the cardio section and I stayed hermited in the free weight area, as far away as possible.

Once we got home, dinner time was fast approaching. I started to lose my composure by that point with every second that passed by. I tried to block out my mind while I sat silently eating my pork tenderloin and potato.

I'm not sure what sparked the conversation but my mom started talking about gays! I think she was talking about a friend from church who was gay and how he rejected our invitation to partake in our Christmas Eve party because he wasn't sure if he was going to be safe at our house due to his sexuality. Anyways, she finished her speal with "I just love the gay community."

I felt like time had stopped the second she said that. My brother, sister and I all looked at each other with faint smirks. I was about to come out right after she said that but wimped out. I left the room and started pacing in my bedroom. Honestly, I have never been more uptight and nervous about anything in my entire life.

My siblings walked into my sister's room so I followed. They told me to either tell them tonight or just wait it out because it was starting to get late. I told them I had to come out tonight so we all walked back into the family room where my parents were. My dad had just popped in the newest season of 24 while my mom was folding laundry. I looked at my brother and sister one last time and then hit the Stop button on the remote.

My parent’s attention immediately shifted from the blank television screen over to me. I stood up out of the chair and after five years, finally spoke up. "I have an announcement to make" were the initial words that left my mouth as my entire body was now shaking uncontrollably. My mom dropped the half folded shirt back in the laundry bin while my dad instantly sat up in the couch with concerned faces. The mood of the atmosphere changed drastically.

I tried to keep things positive. I told them that I had done a lot of sole-searching this past six months and I had been figuring out who I am as a person. They both stared at me like they had no clue what was going on. I pressed on and told them I am much more confident now and I have been increasing my self-esteem tremendously.

From there I just said the words I thought I would never say to my parents. "Mom...Dad, I'm gay."

You know when you hear something crazy while you’re sitting down and your whole upper body shoots forward while you remain seated? Yeah, that’s exactly what my parents did. "WHAT!!??" My mom initially shouted. I looked at her, she looked sort of angry and I started crying. I dropped my head into my hands and really started crying. I felt my parents jump out of their seats and positioned themselves on the arms of the chair where I was sitting. They both began reassuring me that they still loved me no matter what. I got ahold of myself and started explaining everything to them. I answered every question they had to the best of my ability, with the help of my brother and sister.

I told them about my high school experiences, my coming out stories, counseling, my spiritual journey, this blog, all of it. They were both stunned. The quiet, reserved child in the family was finally spilling his heart to his parents and it was the best feeling I have ever had.

I didn't have much more of a chance to talk to my parents about it that night since a neighbor came over about ten minutes later and as soon as he left one of my brother’s friends came over. I did sit in my room and talk more with my mom though. I showed her all the things I had accumulated in counseling and she was asking me all sorts of questions. She told me how astonished she was finding about my sexuality. Neither of my parents had the slightest idea, which disappointed my mom because she said she has good gaydar, obviously not. lol

My mom began opening up to me. She told me she has always been very passionate and driven to learn more about the gay community. She and my dad are two of the most open minded people and openly express their opinion on homosexuality. They travel to San Francisco twice a year and love Castro Street. My mom even told me that they tried to go to a Gay Parade but couldn't find one that overlapped the time they were there. She looked at me and said "you know what; I think God was preparing your father and I for a gay child." I couldn't do anything but smile.

That night I left the letter I had written on the kitchen counter. I know that is something my parents will keep forever. It will be interesting to read that letter years from now. Since that night my parents have been extremely open about the entire subject. They are both 100% supportive of me and that is the best Christmas gift I ever could have asked for! I did it you guys, I DID IT!


26 comments:

  1. wooooohoooooo!! haha congrats bro! im so proud of you man and couldnt be happier for you!! i knew you could do it!!

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  2. Congrats man! I knew u could do it too! I'm so happy that your parents took it well. Now you can just be open w/ them. Happy New Year btw = )

    -BDNY

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  3. I just wanted to tell you congratulations and that I'm happy your family is still in your corner! It takes a great deal of courage, strength and resolve to do what you did. So again, congratulations and have a great New Year!

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  4. Ahh that is amazing, so so so amazing! My mom claimed she had really good gaydar too the entire time, so when I came out to her she was quite embarrassed. I'm so proud of you, and now you get to start off 2011 with the world off of your shoulders. It's the greatest feeling in the world knowing that your parents are behind you, so I know you must be stoked man! Congrats again

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  5. I am very, very happy for you!! That is just amazing your parents are so accepting and understanding! I hope you are very proud of yourself. Congrats!!

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  6. Congratulations mate :) I'm really glad you and your parents have such a good relationship with each other! I hope you have a fantastic new year!

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  7. CONGRATULATIONS!! I'm so happy for you and admire how brave you are. The things you have done in your life at such a young are so inspiring! I feel like this is just the beginning for you bro!

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  8. Latinkid22204@yahoo.comDecember 31, 2010 at 3:10 AM

    Reading this brought a lot tears....I admire how brave you are. I'm sure it was tougher than you can even put into words. I myself am still in the closet and constantly fear the day that I will have to tell my parents. It's really easy to lose hope through all this but reading your blog truly proves that things do get better. You've really helped me better understand all this confusion and realize that I am not alone. I wish you all the best bro and Happy New Years!- latinkid22204@yahoo.com

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  9. Wow!!!! Congrats!!! I wanted to clap or let out a "woohoo", but it's 3 a.m. But it definitely brought a smile to my face and I'll yell when I can be louder! =D

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  10. Absolutely fantastic man. I am so proud of you. I am sure it is such a relief and so great that your parents are so supportive. I run a Gay Durban Facebook group as well as a Hotbodz site and have a section there that links to Coming Out stories to help the many gay guys who were in the same position as you.. so will link your story there. Well done man!!!! Dave

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  11. AGD: I've been waiting anxiously for the announcement and here it is, with the outcome you hoped for. And so well written, I was in suspense how you built up to the big news. We are all so happy for you. To cap off the year with this is fantastic and now opens up new opportunities for you. With your family fully behind you and more importantly with your acceptance of yourself, you can focus your energy in positive ways to build your life and make your hopes and dreams come true.

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  12. Wow...Congratulations! What an amazing story. The heavy burden on your shoulders has been lifted and you probably feel so relieved. I wish you all the best!

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  13. What a passionate, amazing, tender story. Congrats to you..and have a happy new year!

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  14. Congrats man. Reading your story and knowing you are starting the new year open with your family is really inspiring. Hope you have a great new years.

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  15. I'm sorry for being a couple days late, but that's fantastic! congratulations man!

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  16. Thanks for all the support guys!! :)

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  17. Well said and well done. You've just taken your first step to a better life.

    Happy New Year to you.

    My congratulations,
    BosGuy

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  18. I just found your blog a day or two ago, so I don't know your 'backstory' -- all I have at the moment is the huge anxiety about coming out and the story of your actual opening your heart to your parents, your taking that piece which most of us have which says 'you are flawed, unacceptable' and just turning that lie into road kill by your honest tears, your open request to be accepted for who you are, which acceptance helps you to be who you are.

    I am in tears, in celebration for and with you, not only because of your beautiful bravery, your fine character, but also because you got to do what I never did get to do: I came out at age 62, after about 50 years of denial, and my father had been dead for 47 years, my mother for 36. My initial steps were without support, because I had learned to live without support.

    I have now learned what you know at a much younger age (I am 72): "I am my relationships."

    Be well my friend. I bless you, to the same depth of love, that you have blessed me.

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  19. I've been following your blog for the past couple of days and I have to say I am truly fortunate and blessed to have stumbled into your blog.

    You are courageous & strong, purposeful, inspirational, compassionate, incredibly faithful and your words comes straight from your heart - it's like a breathe of fresh air to me. You make struggles in life appear beautiful and essential, and hope like aging wine - it gets better the longer you keep it.

    I'm turning 19 this year and you're someone who I can truly look up to; an adult I wish to develop into. I look forward to reading your new beginnings (that is, if you'll still be blogging) and best wishes to you from Australia. :)

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  20. Congrats! I'm really happy for you!!
    your Spanish fan :)

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  21. Wow. I'm closeted bi (I think :p) and I'm definitely following. Parents won't be nearly as supportive as it seems yours were so I'm probably not going to come out any time soon :p

    I look up to you. Thank you for posting, and congratulations! (I'm known as the quiet one of my family too haha)

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  22. I'm a little late seeing this, but that is soooooooo great your parents were so supportive!!! My mom is still dealing with the whole being gay/religious issue. I have given her books and other resources, but she has refused to look. That's great!!! Congrats!!!

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  23. Mike: Your sample coming out letter is what I shared with AGD for his own letter to his parents. Now I don't know what exactly AGD's letter said, I do know that AGD was impressed with your version as a good starting point so I like to think you indirectly helped, so you deserve a bit of credit too in helping out.

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  24. The crazy thing about playing catch up with blogs is how fast all of the major events seem to happen, haha. I know it's been a while now, but congratulations anyway!

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