OK, so my last few posts have been totally off base from my intended reasons for this blog. But, you know sometimes life isn’t always about me and my issues. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone (not that those who are out and proud don’t do this every day of their lives), and let others know that there are other aspects of your life that are equally compelling. Now that some of my other “issues” are out there, I feel it’s time for me to be getting back to my own “out there” issues.
I began this blog as a aid for me in dealing with the thousands of issues that I have in regard to me coming out to everyone with my truth as being a gay man. I originally intended for my “official” coming out to occur on my 50th birthday, but I allowed other things in my life to prevent that from happening. Was it intentional? Yes, in some respects. I guess you can say that I am still chicken when it comes to discussing my truth with those around me. Although I have admitted to myself a long time ago that yes, I AM GAY saying those words to others is perhaps the hardest thing I will ever have to do in my life.
As I quietly celebrate yet another Gay Pride Month, I am yet again sitting on the sidelines of the parades and events where those who have had the courage to come out can proudly proclaim their truth to the world. So, instead, I proclaim my truth here. I come out to all of you who are reading this. Although you do have some importance in my life, just by the fact you take time out of your life to listen to my words, you aren’t the people that I NEED to say this to. I am however grateful for those of you who come back and wish to help me and advise me on my journey. Your words are the words I NEED to hear so that I can say my words to those around me.
I can give you countless reasons as to why I haven’t come out yet, but as sure as those of you who are reading this can say, been there, done that, yeah uh-huh I know. Yes, I am afraid of the unknown, yes I am afraid of losing those around me, yes I am afraid of what society may say, think and do. And every time those words are on my lips, I read about another gay bashing or someone whose family has turned their back on them and I retreat back into my closet.
All my life I lived to please all those around me from my adoptive parents, to my friends and extended family. I strove for their acceptance and love. I lived to please others rather than please myself first. (Don’t even go there… LOL!). I guess a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was given up at birth, but for reasons unknown to me, I wasn’t adopted until I was 2 1/2. I also know that I spent at least part of that time in 2 different foster homes. Maybe it’s the child in me who still is looking for that love and acceptance that I didn’t have those first 2 1/2 years and prevents me from taking that leap into a truthful existence? Maybe it’s just that I am afraid of even more people rejecting me, again for something that I cannot control. Maybe I am afraid of laying bare my soul for others to once again say, “No, we don’t want him, he is not a part of us!”. Maybe it’s because I am afraid of exposing the last part of me that I have kept hidden from others from being trampled on and thrown out.
I know that sounds like so much psycho-babble bullshit to some of you, but these are my truths. NEVER in my life have I given myself over completely to another human being for them to see within me and all of me. I have always withheld a small portion of myself so that when and if I was rejected I would still have some part of me that I could find where there wasn’t hurt and pain.
Although my children and grandchildren are my life, I find myself still not giving 100% to them in fear that they will leave me once they know. I did the same with the ex and all my “friends”. I need to keep a part of “me” private, free from being hurt and reserved only for me. Funny though, that part seems to be one of the biggest truths of my life.
Some say being gay defines them, it’s who they are. I however believe that being gay is only a part of me. Yes, it has had profound influences on my life and the decisions that I have made throughout my life, but it still isn’t what I am ALL about.
On the other hand I have pushed down that part of my for so long, I don’t know if I can ever pull it out and show to the world. I have known that I was gay or “different” since at least 2nd grade. I can remember looking at the other boys on the playground and admiring them not just for the “coolness” or athletic abilities, but also how they looked, how they carried themselves. I remember in High School having crushes that could never be told to another living soul and only allowing them to come to fruition in my dreams at night. I remember how NOT to look at the other guys for fear of being found out, and then beat up because of it. I also remember the physical pain of being beat those few time, I forgot to guard my eyes and feelings towards another man. I remember the taunts and downright bullying I received in elementary school, high school and college for just being perceived to be different. I also remember lying to myself and my soon to be wife, that yes I was straight. Just to prove to others how wrong they were. I also remember the years of pain that I placed on my wife, by not being a “complete” husband and her pleas to be honest with her. I remember the pain I also felt for myself by being to chicken to acknowledge what everyone suspected. I also remember the pain in my soul when it got too hard to bare and I tried to end it all. Not once, not twice but three times. And no one even knew why or that it even was “another” car accident and not the suicide attempts that they really were.
At least now, I am beyond that stage. I know that hurting myself is NOT the answer. I do KNOW that there is a better world out there for me IF I can FINALLY be truthful. Yes it won’t be easy and YES there will be those who turn their back, but I now know that there will be those who won’t turn away, and will help and support me. Now it’s just up to me, and that is still the hardest hurdle of all.