The Trouble with Coming Out

There are so many things I could say here to excuse my being closeted but, at the end of the day, that’s what they’ll still be. Excuses. What’s perhaps the most honest thing to write here is that I just don’t feel a need to stir shit up at home when I know others around me won’t be comfortable.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m keeping quiet to spare the feelings of others, I could care less what everyone thinks. The truth is that as long as I’m at home helping take care of my mom (she has been fighting cancers off and on for the past ten years now, the more recent ones being a little more difficult), and as long as our entire family is closely connected to her, I need to watch my step and take a minute to think about how my mom is doing. I’m sparing her from the stress my family can and undoubtedly will bring.

***

You see, I’m more than certain my coming out will come with a bit of a backlash. There will be plenty of anger, denial and an urge to want to “take care of the problem.” The last thing my mom needs is to be surrounded by the negative energy from everyone else and the people they will want to bring in to help deal with “the problem.” This is something I have power over for now.

I’m more than willing to put myself and my priorities aside as there is a bigger picture to look at right now, something far bigger and way beyond me and the fact that I, a man, love men.

One family member comes to mind, she is one of the few of my blood-kin that works at the LA archdiocese, let’s call her “Auntie Muriel.” She declared, angrily (and emphasized the point by smacking a table with both hands with each word she yelled), that “there will NEVER be a homosexual in our family.” (Uhmm, hi…)

Getting Auntie Muriel to understand is impossible. She thinks our family is pure and immaculate, despite the fact that her own father started having kids at the age of 16 and had (an estimated) 7 kids before he even met my Auntie Muriel’s mother (where he had about 9 more kids). Or the fact that one of her full-blooded brothers (allegedly) raped and fathered a child with one of the family’s (then) 15 year-old servants.

Oh yes, my family history reads like an over-dramatic soap opera, make no mistake!

Our dirty laundry aside, my family is still heavily influenced and blinded by religion (Catholics and evangelists top the list), and the last thing my mom needs is to be smothered by the issues everyone takes with my “choice.”

I’m certain my mom and step-dad would handle my coming out fine, in fact I’m pretty sure they both already know (it’s just one of those things that isn’t discussed), it’s the crap she will have to deal with that I’m most worried about and, ultimately, why I’m just not ready to come out yet.

I fully understand living with a secret like this isn’t healthy and I’ve been told many times (some from those of you I’ve friended through this blog) that once I come out things will get better. I really and truly hope they do once I am, but, really, I don’t know that I can completely believe that. Not when you’ve got personalities like those in my family who will pray and try to find a way to cure me. I’m almost 100% certain Auntie Muriel will be the first to tell me to pray the gay away.

It’s because my mom is sick that I think my own priorities can go ahead and take a backseat for now. I don’t like it, but I think it may be the best way to go about this.

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5 thoughts on “The Trouble with Coming Out

  1. That’s all understandable man. You have to do it when the time is right for you.

    You should search around the gay forums for coming out stories. Your situation is not unique at all, so don’t ever feel alone. Many guys have gone through the exact thing you have, some took the coming-out path, others didn’t.

    I do tend to agree with those that said it will get better when you come out. It might not be all sunshine and roses with your family, it rarely is, but you will feel a freedom that you’ve never felt before. Living a lie gets to you, and you wont realize it fully until you’re no longer living it 🙂

  2. Very good post. I agree with what you are saying and think is completely respectable.

    I think we all have our own way of expressing our sexuality or sharing our attractions with a small, medium or large group of people. It’s hard to come out in many social circles.

    In my case I’m glad that Aunt Mariel (yes with an a) is my mom, because she’s the one that is so Catholic that wants to pray the gay away. Everyone else in my family is pretty much a non-practicing catholic so the ones that know did not care and was very pleasantly surprised to see such loving and caring reactions from my aunts, uncles and cousins. It definitely helps make coming out so much easier when you have people that love you.

    I can see how a close family (or in your case, seems more like “metiches” instead of close) can turn things ugly for others like your mom. It’s sad that you have to tiptoe around everyone because those who have nothing better to do will use you to feel better about themselves (and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I think this is just the truth about some people).

    Considering how your mom and stepdad might already have an idea of what is going on, I think you are close to being able to take a huge small step in talking to them about them. Since I’m sure they both know how your family works, I doubt they would go tell everyone and create conflicts for themselves, but it would probably help you greatly to have some good and close allies.

    Of course everyone will come out at the time it is right for them, no one can tell you how to live your life. I came out when I was 24, which depending on who you ask is a late or early bloomer haha. And my mom was actually one of the first people to know because she asked me. A few years after that I eventually realized it was ok and started talking to my friends and close family and been able to share my life as it is with them.

    I still don’t go out and introduce myself to everyone as Jorge the Gay one, there’s no need to do that I think, but as it comes out during my day to day relationships with people, I’m ok with it. I’m out at work, but my company is really cool and so are most of my co-workers, so like everything it’s very “Your mileage will vary”.

    So hang in there, and know that at least the Internet knows you love men and your homo friends love you and can help you out (no pun intended) along the way.

  3. I think most reasonable people will say that your coming out process is deeply personal, and that you are the only person who can judge when/if that choice needs to be made. In light of what you have written here, I would say that you would be irresponsible to come out at this time. You are making the right choice to wait. I hope that you can come out one day, because it really does make everything easier (in the greater scheme of life). Just first make sure you are financially independent of anyone who would seek to undermine you. Yes, I think as many LGBTQI people should be out as possible; however, I want them to be out and proud/healthy/happy/stable, not out and dead/broken/hurt. I admire you for your dedication to your mother, and I hope you will have the freedom one day to make this choice to be openly LGBTQI without it being within the context of worrying with revenge and chaos. I wish you peace!! xoxo

  4. Your family and friends probably already know that you’re gay. They either want you to tell them first or never tell them.

    I believe my mom knows that I’m gay. She has seen things on my computer and even hinted at me running away with men. She “ooohs” if I even talk to a man on the phone. Yet she PRETENDS like I’m interested in women by telling me what girls I should date. LOL My uncles, cousins, and siblings have blatantly said I was gay, but I denied it. Of course they don’t know the truth until we confirm it, but trust me the thought is in mind.

    My mom is super religious as well. But to be frank, I’ve never tried to appease my parents or live for them. They know that. My mom knows that I do not believe in God as well and really don’t value her opinions sometimes. I honestly, don’t want to come out because I feel it’s my business. If I ever met a guy, I wouldn’t try to tip toe around my family with him, though. IF they don’t like it, then I’ll just have to cut them out of my life. As weird as that sounds, life is much too short to live in fear and to mollify others. What about you, right? You have to love yourself first.

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