I guess my mind knew I was gay years before my conscious did. Starting in elementary school, I really began to notice guys, and it continued throughout Jr. High and High School. Yeah, I tried to find a girlfriend and such, just to be like all the other guys, but when I got in a situation of a girl liking me, I would panic. Even in High School, I still never labeled myself as gay, because I knew I would outgrow it (yeah right). My father was transferred to Kansas City in 1976 when I was a Junior in High School. I still had not fully admitted to myself that I was gay. A week before senior prom, a good friend of mine, Robin, asked me if I wanted to go to the prom dance with her. I agreed, because I knew it was what was expected of me. A few days before prom, I took her to dinner, and after being uncomfortable during dinner, I told her I couldn’t go to the dance, because (well, I really don’t remember the “because”), but anyway, I broke the prom date. I got home that night, and told my parents I had decided not to go to prom, and was immediately met with an upset. The first thing my mother said was “why did you break the date….what’s wrong, do you like boys better than girls or something?” I was shocked that she would even suggest something like that (maybe because in the back of my mind….I knew it was true). The issue was dropped, and I didn’t go to the prom dance.
A few more years passed, and I moved out on my own. At the time, I was working for an insurance company, and had met my “first gay person” Charlie (he died some years ago of Aids….the first person I ever knew to die from Aids). God Bless Charlie.
Charlie befriended me, as he detected that I was gay (i still hadn’t admitted it to myself yet). He flat out asked me at lunch one day “are you gay?”….I kind of freaked out…thought about it for a second, and said…”yeah….I think I am”. He smiled, and said….don’t worry, its ok. There are millions of gay people. Subsequently, he asked me if I would like to go out with him for a drink after work, and we could talk about it (and he meant it non-sexually…..what a perfect guy to come out to). We did go out, and I hung to him like glue. Scared to death. . . .
. . . I finally broke down, called my mother, and told her I had something to tell her. I was in tears. I thought my life was over, and was afraid her and my father would dis-own me. I had 2 friends who had recently come out to their parents, and they had no relationships with their parents any more. I had always been close to both my parents, and couldn’t bear the thought of loosing them. So there I was…blurting out that I was gay (now 32 years old….yeah….i surfaced to them late)….and got really worried when my mother said “I am so disappointed in you”…….
I was crushed….I didn’t know what to say. I just said…..”Mom….I love you…and I’m sorry”. She said….”well…I am sorry too”. I really thought my life was over. I didn’t want to exist without my parents acceptance.
She continued by saying….
“Alan….I am disappointed….that you didn’t think that your father and I didn’t love you enough to accept whoever you are. You are our son….we have wondered for years if you were Gay…and now we know. Did you really think our love was conditional…or so shallow?” I cried…even harder.
Well….to summarize….my brothers attempt failed…he has apologized every day since….but I still love him….I do. He is my brother. My sister does still have problems with me being gay….but we just don’t discuss it. She knows, loves me, wants me to be happy, and that is all that needs to be said 🙂
My coming out, was very late, very painful, but all said and done, was very positive. To the younger crowd: Don’t ever underestimate your family or friends. We are in 2001 now, the world in general…I have found….is more accepting. My parents are pushing their 70’s, and we are still very close. I have not lost any friends. I manage an office of a maintenance facility with 65 men that know I am gay, and we all get along great, and have respect for each other. Heck…..they tell me some of the best gay jokes I have ever heard 🙂 Although I am still not, and have never been in a full time relationship….I keep my hopes up. There IS someone out there for all of us. The longer we have to wait (I hate the waiting), the better and more appreciative we will be.
God Bless Charlie, may he rest in peace. God Bless David….I know you are out there somewhere 🙂 God Bless Chris (I didn’t go into him…that’s another story…the one man I truly loved…and still do, that didn’t think he was good enough for me….BUT HE IS). And…God Bless my mother and father….I love them both dearly….I was born to a perfect set of parents. God Bless my sister, her husband, and the 4 beautiful children she has brought into this world…they are my world. And especially….God Bless you Phillip….my brother….I know life is hard for you…but I (we…your family) love you. Hope you get back on your feet before it is too late.