Coming Out – 1 Year Later

Once you know you can’t unknow. Once you see the potential on the other side, the glittery, rainbowy, sparkling, amazing other side, you can’t turn around. There was a timespan of about two months between meeting a woman that literally took my breath away and being diagnosed with a major illness and then about three months between diagnosis and finally realizing that, “Oh shit, I am GAY.” It was kind of a lot happening at once.

Figuring out your sexuality – especially later in life – is not an easy process. There are so many layers to deciding to forego one sex for all eternity and committing to a label (labels are surprisingly something I, as a commitmentphobe, are fond of.) So much letting go of past assumptions of yourself, what you thought you always knew and were even proud of. Telling everyone you know that, “Whoops, got it wrong the first time I came out to ya. Here we are again!” But then there’s also the slight disappointment when no one is surprised at all but you.

So many things have dawned on me since I first started thinking I could be gay those many months ago. How I never looked at attractive men and thought, “Yes, I would like to sleep with/smush faces with them.” How I always wanted to be the cool male characters in movies or in t.v. shows – the Dr. House or the Michael Bluth – but never wanted to have the sex with them. How I really just kind-of wanted to cohabitate and have their awesomeness become my awesomeness.

One of my favorite songs is called Dear Me by Eric Hutchinson. In it, he writes a love letter to his past self. He tells him that everything is ok on the other side. That he will make it through and that the struggle will all be worth it. So…

Dear Me,

You GAY. You have to go. You have to give up the safety and security that you just got after a lifetime of uncertainty and you have to jump. You’re not gonna be fine. You’re gonna be better than ever. Your illness is going to stay under control. Stop worrying so much. It’s your one life. You gotta live it. Start now.