My coming out

My coming out

As it’s National Coming Out today I thought I’d share my coming out story...


I came out when I was 17. I guess the benefit of living in a large city is that nobody seemed to really care that much. Most of my immediate family responded with ‘Yeah... Whatever. It’s just a phase you’ll grow out of eventually’... My mother did care. A lot. She cried me a river the whole afternoon! She was so upset she thought I was coming out to her just for the sake of hurting her. 


Let me add a bit of context for you, though. While my older brother and I were growing up, she’d regularly say that ‘we were free to do and be whatever we wanted as long as we weren’t a priest or gay’. The glass was half full, really. I could have turned out priest AND gay after all.


At the time, we had just moved in with her mother in the wake of my parents’ divorce. We never discussed it but I’m convinced she didn’t kick me out just because it was my grandmother’s house. We didn’t speak at all for about a year, which affected me more than I cared to admit. I would regularly dream of people with missing limbs. These dreams completely stopped after we started speaking again. Later, I got married. To a man, obviously! She was one of my witnesses and cried a lot again, but for different reasons. 


My father was one of the other witnesses. I’ve always been very surprised by his openness and support. In my opinion it’s very important for gay men to be close to their fathers. Unfortunately it’s not always the case in black families and I’m so lucky and grateful we get on well.


My mother never told anyone around her I’d married a man. I only found out at her funeral when people gathered my wife was a man... I can’t be mad at her, though. I know she loved me and was still very proud of me. Her issue, not mine...


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