I find it interesting that people come out only when they have found love. I might be jumping to conclusion here, as my sample size is only my friend K and a university friend, A.
K came out after he found someone he likes. A came out to me exactly two years ago after he broke up with his boyfriend. The fact which surprises me is that I came out to them before they did.
Why didn’t my coming out make them do the same? Perhaps it was not dramatic or inspiring enough.
I suppose the answer is that everyone takes their own time to reach that point. Coming out is a personal decision. Everyone’s journey to that decision is different. As such, the timing would differ too. Some people do it when they feel they can’t take the burden of hiding anymore. Which was the case for me.
Others do it when they have fall in love, after having tasted the freedom of being true to oneself and the happiness that comes with it. To like someone of the right sex and know that’s the way it should be.
Another thing that I noticed is that the activities they indulged in. I am not judging, just commenting. It is indeed incredible that the closeted people had gone for saunas, massages and meeting people through IRC, whereas I have yet to visit these places. Except for IRC, of course. But that too only after I have come out. My friends who haven’t come out have done things which I should have been doing or have done.
It is not a case of envy. It’s irony.
I still remember my experience of coming out. It was in October 2002. I was with my best friend in Starbucks, Amcorp Mall. The words were difficult, but it was spoken. He wasn’t shocked or surprised. Well, not much anyway. I nearly cried when those words left my lips.
It was truly liberating. It was exhilarating. I felt very much alive. The burden has at last been lifted.
In the months to come, I was thinking and choosing who else to come out to. In about two months, I have come out to ten people. It’s like something which you can’t keep to yourself, like a juicy gossip which has to be shared with someone. The feeling was too good. The unmasking of the truth has to be known to as many as possible.
Of course I chose carefully the people who would know the truth. After all, not everyone deserved the privilege of this information. ;P Though some friends did advise caution on my actions.
Which was why I laughed when K came out to me. I could emphatise with the joy and relief of finally doing it. I was indeed happy for him.
However, life is not smooth sailing after coming out. There are still bigots and homophobes out there. Coming out makes life just a little bit easier. It gives a boost to the self-esteem and makes our outlook on life better.
Welcome to the other side. To our team. ;-)