Please make note that from here on, I will not be informing another human being that I am a gay man, unless it is October 11. October 11th is the Official Coming Out Day. I am not really sure why there is an official coming out day, but I am not going to protest against it. It is not as if we get the day off, have a Hallmark card, or even have a special dinner (but maybe I should start doing that).
The reason, I am going to wait for October 11th is because it appears as if on a weekly basis, I am coming out to someone new. Now in theory, I have no problem outing myself. It is the weekly basis which I find a bit tiresome. So from here on in, I will only be outing myself on October 11th.
Now if you don’t mind, I am going to ask for a small favor of you when I do come out to you. Please do not say, “Oh, that’s cool; it doesn’t matter to me.” Or “Oh, that’s cool; it doesn’t make any difference to me.” Or “Oh, that’s cool; I don’t care.” I almost forgot my personal favorite response, “That’s cool; there’s nothing wrong with that.” I ask you not to say these words because I know that it does matter to you, it does make a difference to you and you do care (well maybe not CARE, but you care).
It really is ok if you have an issue or several with my sexual orientation. I had several issues when I first came to the realization and acceptance of my sexual orientation. Hell, I still have some issues that I am dealing with today, some many years after the fact. Having said all of that, I don’t expect you to be lovingly embracing of me and my (new to you) sexual orientation. The way I look at it is; I am being very honest with you and sharing big issues of my life with you so, I would appreciate you being just as honest or at least half as honest with me as to how you feel.
It is more than ok to be uncomfortable or unsure how you feel on the matter, but just tell me that you are uncomfortable or unsure. I much prefer you told me that than feeding me some line like, “Yeah its cool, some of my friends are gay.” I would rather we talk about it for a bit, then for me having to go all Oprah on your ass later in some big scene.
So, go ahead and ask me questions you want to know the answers to, but just keep in mind that some of those questions you really don’t want to know the answers to, you just want to be noisy. Here’s a rule a thumb that I picked up a few years back and adhere to when asking people questions about something I want more information on, “WHAT MAY TAKE YOU SECONDS TO FIND OUT, MAY TAKE YOU A LIFE TIME TO FORGET.” So, maybe you might want to ask about the anal sex stuff later when you are more comfortable in about five or ten years.
And no you don’t have to join PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) or place a rainbow sticker on your car to let me know that you are accepting of me and my sexual orientation but, I will tell you what you can do. The next time you hear the word Gay used to mean something is not good, dumb, or not cool, correct the speaker. I know it may not be the easiest thing for you to do, but just try and imagine how I feel having to hear it used in this manner all over the place with no one correcting the speaker. For me, truthfully it comes down to the words of an inspiring man, Martin Luther King, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
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