A year ago today, I slipped onto my twitter and sent out a request for advice on coming out to ones friends in the big scary real world. This marked my emergence outly gay both online and in real life. So this blog is a marking of my ‘coming-out-aversary’ and a reflection on me since and how I’ve come to terms with this since that fateful evening, because as sayeth the Trevor project videos on youtube which I urge you watch some time, it really does get better.
Unlike say Wolverine’s powers and skeleton, my sexuality doesn’t have a cool Hugh Jackman portrayed origin story and we’re all just going to have to live with that. Instead it was more a growing realisation of how I felt and where my heart lay, In July last year I finally took the step of moving out of home into my own flat in a new city and the effect of having my own new separate space in giving me the oomph to come to terms with who I am and how I express that was a major one.
The first thing that’s struck me and I’ve seen mentioned many times is that coming out is not just one ‘Ta-da!’ moment and then everyone’s up to speed and we all move on, it’s more a series of curious events each in their own moment and context with differing reactions and degrees of awkwardness or not as the case may be. The first one with one of my best friends of nearly twenty years went as well as could be hoped, we were sat outside in a pub garden so I broke it over a pint, we agreed I was still me and we moved on. In fact my offline friends have all reacted in that very British low key supportive manner, including my friend who I came out to via email, something that took me nearly three quarters of an hour to compose because damn finding the right words to share with someone a key part of who you are is a hard business. When I came out to them in November after a few months of crumbs being left around facebook, my parents have been nothing but supportive so harrumble, and Book Riot Live the weekend after that was a splendid coming out party as it were and Sara Farizan’s hug still means the world.
As I mentioned at the start of this post I first came out on twitter and the responses and support of my twitter friends have been a wonderful rock to lean on in the past 12 months, and yes I do when needed look at the replies to that first tweet and others when I need a pick-up so there. The key aspect of twitter has been the essential that I’m not alone in this, and in friends/inspirations James Bennett and young Benjamin Dreyer it serves reminders that when I grow up I can have my gayness and everything else besides.
In yer actual real life (much as I loath that odd expression) I’ve been massively helped by the local brewery’s monthly LGBTQA+ evenings where a bunch of us from surrounding environs get together and chat, drink, hug, exchange absolutely filthy jokes, laugh and just get to be us in our own safe space, and that sense of friendship and finding your own tribe and savoring it has been reinforced by going to Pride for the first time.
My mind still whispers questions in the dark though, as one finds oneself worrying if you’re gay enough or doing it properly when you have to admit that you’re not a fan of Cher or Whitney Houston or any one of half a dozen film staples that everyone else has seen but you’ve no idea about. These though fade as you remind yourself that being gay isn’t some mad perfomative event like wrestling a puffin or racing a possum over 400 metres but just a statement of who and how you love.
So, to bounce off a quote a new favourite and important band of mine, Laureate and their ace song ‘Coming Around’ – “I can’t say that I feel good yet but I almost feel alright. – I’m not 100% in focus of who I am as a gay man, but its falling into place and it can only push forward from here.
Finally if you’re reading this, thank you – as I say above the support from my friends on and offline has been everying and I’d never have made this far without you, Love y’all so much it would make a really gay unicorn explode in rainbow sparkles. xx