This time last year
This entry was kind of inspired by Holly's blog entries about 2004 although I didn't feel it appropriate to trackback any of her entries. I don't think I am capable of doing such a good job of it as she did but thats not important, what's important is that I get written down my feelings and thoughts at the time. I must also say that some names in this entry have been changed because it could be read by one guy in particular which may cause problems in our friendship which I don't want to happen. It's basically the story about how I felt leading up to coming out and how it all transpired for me, I know alot of people will not care about this but that's not the point.
I have been attracted to guys since I can remember, and I would also be attracted to girls, throughout school I never entertained the thought of actually becoming more then friends with a guy, it was more just a lust which I enjoyed in my mind. I had my moments with girls, very brief moments, and have been emotionally attached to one or two in the past, but I now believe it was a kind of false attraction; a want to fit in with the crowd, to have a girlfriend like everyone else, a want to be loved. I had the odd crush on a guy or two through school but it was never much more then that as school is a big place and quite a distraction. So throughout school I was just (in my mind) a straight guy who enjoyed gay porn as well as straight porn, as I like straight porn I had no reason to convince myself any different about my sexuality, I didn't need to admit to myself or anyone that I was gay (or at least Bi).
This was all fine, even during my first first year at uni while living on campus; I could still go on pretending. It wasnt until I got into my second first year and we were living of campus that I started falling for one of my housemates, who from now on I shall call James (because I like the name). I had been physically attracted to James when we'd been on campus but that was about it, but in a house it was different, it's more intimate, you learn far more about each other and I was wanting more and more for James to be a bigger part of my life, this lead to me being pretty depressed about halfway through the first term but on I went, ignoring it, just living with it. I was quite desperate to escape my feelings and be happier, I even started to look if I had a place within the christian religion as one of my housemates and a coursemate are christians. I had long discussions about the religion with both of them over the last few weeks of term, in the end I decided against it.
Because I was depressed I went home as soon as term ended, the friday night in fact. As a few of you will be aware I send Christmas Cards every year to more or less everyone I know. Few of you bloggers will be unaware that my brother and myself walked out on my father (my parents are divorced) and went to live with my mother, that was back in June 1998, and since then we haven't had any real contact and had no real wish too until it came to sending Christmas cards and I had this sudden urge to send him a christmas card perhaps with an email address or web address on it, leave it at that a see if he'd respond. I gave the idea lots of thought and even asked a friend about it, she was helpful but in the end the choice had to be mine to make, at the time I decided to send it. There was still one issue playing on my mind though and that was James, despite no longer having to see him I was missing him. The feelings were so great I eventually came to the conclusion I had to come out; I had to tell somebody that I'm attracted to men. For some reason I decided this person was going to be Ryan, I'm not sure why him and not Tom as I feel closer to Tom, perhaps thats why, I wanted to tell a good friend but not ruin my closest friendship.
The decision was made, I was going to come out; I knew who to. The next problem was how and when. When was the easy part, I wanted to do it as soon as possible; I had to for my sanity, but how was more difficult, as I was at home for christmas doing it in person was out of the question. I would have loved to have told him in person but even if he had of been close by I now know I wouldn't have been able to do it. I choose to tell him by email, I first text him and told him I wanted to confide in him about something and that if it was ok I'd email him, he said yes and told me he would check his email till after 6pm that day. The day in question being Tues 16th December. I wrote and sent the email, it was straight to the point, I told him I was Bisexual, after that the rest of the email quite clearly shows my worry about it all and my desperate hope he'd be accepting. Having written and sent the email I felt very ill, I could have been sick, knowing he wouldn't read it for hours didn't make things much better, but it was done, no turning back. I worked that evening, I spent the whole evening thinking about every possible way he might react (except of course the way he did). I didn't feel so sick though until it came to going home, know he'd have replied. I logged on to msn, it said I had one new message, it took me about 10 minutes to bring myself to open and read it. Once I'd read his response, which was the best possible response I could have hoped for, I was absolutely exstatic, I could have jumped around and shouted thing if my family weren't asleep. It was an extreme weight off my shoulders.
A week later our house got together for a meal in Kent; I gave Ryan a lift down there, I was nervous about seeing him as this was the first time since telling him, he was the same as always, he didn't mention it at all on the trip down there. The meal itself was nice but I couldn't help but sit there think how Ryan knew and the rest didn't. At that point I had to tell them all; there was no way I could have done it then but the decision to do it was made. On the way home I finally got the courage to bring the subject up with Ryan, to hear he was fine with it from his tone of voice. He also showed he was fine with it by having no problem with me sleeping on his bedroom floor, he probably doesn't realise how significant that event was to me, afterall to him it wasn't a big deal at all, in fact it was no deal at all. Over christmas week and new year I gradually told my friends by email and msn. There was just one person left to tell; my mum. I hated the fact I hadn't told her and was unable to, I had to escape the house, I needed to be alone, in the end, after work on New Years Eve, I went back to Leamington. For a second time email was going to be the medium of choice for coming out.
Looking back the email I sent her was actually quite a worry free one, I seemed to say it so casually and even made joking comment about her being old. It was nowhere near as difficult to send to her as the one had been to Ryan, perhaps I knew deep down there was no doubt that she'd be accepting. What followed was quite an emotional rollercoaster. Her first reply pretty much said she was shocked, didn't really know what to do but was ok with it. Then she slept on it, or rather had a sleepless night on it, she was starting to realise all the things it actually meant for me and for her; no grandkids, risk of hiv etc and sent me quite a distraught email, I replied in a very calm manner explaining how I realise all that she said and I was coping with it all. To be honest I wasn't coping too well with it at all. I had come out as bisexual and each passing moment I was realising I am actually gay, and was just holding on to the attraction to women – perhaps to make it easier to accept in my own mind, but by coming out I had enabled myself to start admitting what my sexuality really was. It was re-defining itself very quickly and that was really quite scary. We emailed each other for a bit and she finally started to calm down and adjust to it. All that was left for me to do now that I had admitted I was gay to everyone else was to admit it to myself, this is where alot of people think my method was bizarre and different from the norm.
From what I gather when most gay guys come out they've spent years coming to terms with their sexuality, they've experimented with other guys and just generally explored their feelings. They only make the move to tell someone when they are absolutely sure of themselves or when they are found out and questioned about it. I didn't do this, I had never persued any feelings realted to guys, never kissed a guy, never so much as tried chatting up a guy. This was one of the reasons I decided to come out though, I realised that I was never going to explore my sexuality unless I took the plunge and came out, that may seem crazy; what if I was wrong? well to be honest I don't know what I'd have done if I was wrong, I put very little thought into it. I just knew I had to make that plunge, I had to throw myself in at the deep end and admit to everyone else that I am attracted to guys, once I'd done that I could start my quest to explore my sexuality. In effect I did things in reverse order, I came out first and then admitted it to myself.
Since coming out I have been generally happier, I still have my down moments, but they are for different reasons now. I've spent alot of time since last January exploring my sexuality, the journey isn't over, I doubt it ever will be, I still have a lot to learn about myself, about my needs, about my desires. I do know one thing though, I don't regret anything about the way I carried it all out, I can't say it went to plan because there was no plan but it certainly didn't go wrong. My only regret is that I spent so long putting it off, I would like to have done it years earlier, it would have been nice to have all the stupid teenage flings and stuff but oh well you can't win everything.
It feels good to have put this all down on paper (metaphorically of course) and if you are still reading then i'm impressed and hope that this has been of some use or interest to you, if not I'm sorry for having wasted your time, one thing is for sure though – I haven't wasted my time writing it.