Sunday, July 25, 2010
Coming Out to Family & Friends
My decision to “come out” happened in two parts. In chapter two I talked about the three stages I went through exploring my sexuality. The first coming out was really for me, perhaps you could say this was me opening the door to the closest, just a little. The second was coming out to family and friends, or taking a step out of the closet.
This second coming out is probably the hardest for any gay person. It would probably make this chapter a little more engaging if my coming out had been difficult or traumatic. It was not, I was almost ‘outed’ by my mother more so than me choosing to come out. However, I was in control of another aspect of coming out and that was being prepared emotionally to come out.
Soon after my first sexual experience I knew wanted to come out, but knowing how or when was the hardest step. I spent a lot time on self talk, that is, talking to myself about why I was the way I was, how I was going to come out and to whom. While self talk can tend to lean towards the negative, I found the process to be helpful. It forced me to think at times, out loud, about how I was going to come out. In addition, I kept an extensive journal, which I found beneficial reading again and again.
Another question that I found myself trying to answer was “why do I need to come out?”. Whose business was it anyway? Whom I choose to sleep with is my business and no one else’s. Perhaps you’ve had this discussion with your self, if so, here’s the answer I arrived at.
I decided I had to come out for my own sanity, to not come out was for me, hiding. It was taking up residence in the back of the ‘closet’ so to speak. It meant juggling two lives, with two sets of friends and two sets of events constantly jumping between the two. I’m not a good lier, I knew I would be ‘found out’ or ‘revealed’ at some stage. Being LDS there was the added complication of being an endowed High Priest. I had made commitments and covenants, I was not abiding by them and I felt a responsibility to step up and take ownership of those issues. At the time of writing this book, I’m only part way there with the Church. I’ve not had a disciplinary council, although my Bishop knows the choices I’ve made. He did take my temple recommend, which I took with me to the meeting because I knew I had to surrender it. He released me from my priesthood callings and called me as the ward website coordinator, a calling that does not require me to use the Priesthood.