Coming Out

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I have decided that it’s time for me to come out of the closet. I have been living in denial, dissimulation, and doubt for far too long, and I’m done. It’s time to be honest, with myself and with you. It’s time to embrace who I am and where I’m going, instead of letting others define me for me. It’s time I stood up and stated openly my real identity, without shame, without compromise, without guilt, without fear. It’s time for me to lay my cards on the table and be myself.

I am straight. Mom, Dad, I’m sorry, but I just can’t fight it any longer. I’m straight. All those years in the theater notwithstanding, I am straight. I apologize sincerely to all those I may shock with this revelation, but I have to stand up for who I am. I am a heterosexual. I love women. Well, woman, anyway. My wife. I tried to overcome this attraction, I tried to swallow the urge to marry a person of the opposite sex, but in the end, I had to be who I am. I am a straight, straight man.

There! I said it! It’s done.

And it’s ridiculous.

The idea that anyone should have to “confess” their sexual orientation to the world, as if asking permission to be who they are, is always ridiculous, no matter who the person, no matter what that orientation. If you found my version even slightly superfluous, possibly a bit redundant even, then the same should apply across the board, to all people, everywhere. We are who we are, and the only way that becomes perverted is when we’re forced (or force others) to pretend that we’re not. As Gay Activists Alliance leader Marty Robinson wrote in 1971, “the closet is built in fear, not shame.” And we shove people into it every day.

But (for those of you who panicked when you read the first paragraph of this post), here’s my real “confession”: I love gay men. I also love lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. I am both amused and horrified by those who suggest that I have a choice in the matter. (Or, for that matter, that they do.) I love the fact that I have never met a homosexual who has tried to persuade me that I won’t be truly happy until I become one, too. I have a dear friend who, with his partner (his husband, actually, although they’re not legally entitled to use the term where they live), is preparing to adopt a child, and I love the fact that a man faced with such social revulsion is still capable of giving that much love. I love that they love, and I love that they love in spite of all the people trying to tell them that love is good…except for theirs.

So I’m out, I’m proud, and I refuse to be forced back in.

“Love the sinner, hate the sin,” you tell me. Don’t worry. I do. It’s just not the “sin” you’re thinking of…

152 thoughts on “Coming Out

  1. I do not believe that by using typed words I will ever be able to impress upon you the amount of love and respect I have gained for you. You’re a stranger, yes. And perhaps it’s weird to hear from another stranger that they love you. But I do. And not in the love that everyone discuss’s these days. But in a love of your mind and your opinions.
    We live in a dark and scary world. One in which a lesbian can lose her family because she loves women. We shouldn’t have to announce being gay or straight or pansexual. We should be allowed our selves. And until we are, it is people like you that give me strength. People like you that give me hope for another, better, time.
    I don’t think that I have adaquetly told you what this post or your opinion means. But it helps. It helps.

  2. Love is the Greatest of these.I worry, I don’t want anyone to lose their eternal life.this is because of love.All sin is equal,we all are guilty of sin
    .We can’t throw stones,but we can share the love and forgive each other in order to be forgiven.

  3. Enjoyed the post, We love to label people this is the safe way. We know what to expect and how to behave around labelled people.

    The moment we have a annoying “please don’t label me” around us our social interactions are much more difficult.

    Don’t want to be judged? Live in the forest with your cat. Labels are good its a way of letting people know what you stand for. Stop thinking your “special”

    Its not the labels that are the problem (you never hear a mother screaming don’t label me!!!) People that do not accept specific labels are the problem.

      1. Sorry Anglophiletoad was rushing to get my train ;).

        Reading your post and some replies made me feel like we should stop labelling people and let people be the way they are. I tried to tell that it’s a good thing to express and “label” yourself

        The moment someone labels himself as being gay this is a opportunity for him to discuss what is important (for this individual). A label in such matter open opportunities to express your personal believes.

        With those labels I’m the best friend, son, table tennis player, woodcarver, uncle, asshole while riding my bike. ect ect Those things define me as a person in my community. Those labels make it easy for my surrounding to interact with me and know what I stand for.

        Try to imagine what I would be without those labels. A social awkward guy that probably loves his computer and has no life O and lives probably in his mother’s basement

        Hope this clarified some.

        (I shouldn’t try to discuss matters like this in a foreign language :P).

      2. Sorry it took me so long to reply to this.

        I agree that labels are an intrinsic part of life, in that we each fall into some category, and it would be foolish to suggest that we don’t. However, I don’t like labels in that I feel they sometimes stifle us and keep us from growing. They also keep us from communicating with each other. Liberals don’t talk to conservatives, Christians don’t talk to atheists, Muslims don’t talk to Christians, Republicans don’t talk to Democrats, and so on, not because we have nothing to say to each other, but simply because of the label we’ve chosen. We think they prevent conversation, and so they do.

        Thanks for sharing…

  4. hehehehehe brilliant post from one hetero to another thank you for making me smile! *naughty liberal Catholic* πŸ˜€

  5. Jesus is the loophole that God sent to be staked onto a cross in a horribly brutal fashion, even though he is God almighty and could have just as easily changed the law without introducing violence into the story.

    If I understand it correctly, babies die, children get slaughtered, rape, incest, you name it – it happens because of a simple bite of a fruit.

    I just don’t buy it.

  6. I loved this post! You are right, why should we have to pin a label on our chest to the world about some unipolar love thing. In my experience I’m capable of love in some many different ways and reducing it to penis and bum or penis and vagina seems like schoolyard silliness! Thanks for a great post!

      1. It was late when I wrote it…:) I recently wrote a considerably less organized blog that yours about people coming out and the reasons why. I liked your view on how ridiculous is sounds that we have to confess our preference of sexual partner. Why do we as humans feel the need to do that?

  7. I wholeheartedly appreciate this post. I will be coming out soon via my blog in the near future. I’ll also be talking about some very personal and devastating activities I was engaging in about a year ago. This blog has given me the strength to do so sooner than expected. Thank you for posting and sharing with us πŸ™‚ I’m excited to read more from you.

  8. This is great! I don’t think sexual preference is a thing we should put our identity in. Whether or not we believe that homosexuality is sinful. The Bible does say that homosexuality is a sin (rebellion) against God, but that doesn’t make it worse than anything else, which is what we’ve seen in our culture. Love is the answer of the Bible. Unfortunately, the church hasn’t acted out of love, and that hurts me deeply as one who identifies herself with the church. I’m just as sinful. Thanks so much for this!

  9. This was an awesome post. I am a big supporter of the homosexual community and I loved how you compared “coming out” as straight to “coming out” as gay or lesbian. We need more love in this world, why is everyone trying to fight it?

  10. “The idea that anyone should have to β€œconfess” their sexual orientation to the world, as if asking permission to be who they are, is always ridiculous, no matter who the person, no matter what that orientation.”

    No, we are not asking permission, we are proclaiming. We are making peace with ourselves and those around us after what may have been a lifetime of pain and denial or at least play-acting. And by proclaiming and making a fuss, we become visible members of a larger community. We make it easier for the bullied youth. We make it impossible to ignore us. We make it clear: we are everywhere.

  11. Very clever! I couldn’t agree more. I wonder tho (and I speak generally) – perhaps if parent’s stopped assuming their kids were straight, our young people’s need for hiding their true selves would also stop?

  12. you read my mind mate. why do gay people has to tell the whole world that they’re gay and something to be proud of. i find it very less intruiging every time i hear someone comes out of the closest just like recently a famous basketball player. i mean who the hell cares! big deal! if you’re gay and have climbed mount everest then yes maybe just maybe i’ll be cheering you on. i dont go around telling my sexuality to anyone i meet and i dont expect anyone to do the same. being gay/straight/bi or thai (lol) there is nothing else to prove who you are and absolutely nothing to be proud of. so a big fat thank you for writing this. hey, i’m gay!

    1. So, about that list thing…

      I decided to see if I could turn this into a collaborative effort, and I would be happy to get your thoughts if you’ve got a few minutes. If you’re interested, check out my latest post…

  13. This was great. It is ridiculous that people feel the need to hide who they are, from friends, or parents, or strangers.
    Or, in turn, that certain interests are associated with sexual orientation. I’m straight, so I must be into NFL? Why can’t I just sing “I dreamed a dream” and love the sight of a lady with wonderful, luxurious hair and sparkling eyes.

  14. Of four boys three of us are straight and one is gay. We are, and have always been who we are, and could never understand why people make judgements e.g. concerning work ability, likelihood to rape another person – a child, etc. on a person’s sexuality. Why make a fuss about coming out – my brother didn’t but everyone knows. This whole thing has been blown out of proportion. In mediaeval times church marriages were conducted on the steps of the church because they were political alliances between families and had to be witnessed by everyone. Gay marriages were performed at the altar because they were for love and between the participants only. So sexuality is a private issue, best kept that way. Tony

  15. I have come to this late. I honestly was expecting the same old derision in the beginning, like it was some kind of joke, or trivialization, but then I saw where you were going with this. And now I have tears in my eyes. Perhaps we have come a long way, but this sort of acceptance and love and support still comes as a surprise. Thank you. That’s all I can really say. Thank you.

  16. How uncanny to happen on this post! When I was working on the bins a few years ago in Norfolk we used to have this joke regularly between our three man crew and laugh knowing we understood each other! When we tried sharing the revelation with the “lads” in the yard we just received stares as if we were mad. Some of these stares were definitely homophobic stares! So rest assured, there are at least three guys out there with you my friend who decided upon this course of action about seven years ago and we’re still proud to be HETEROSEXUAL! Well done!

  17. Great blog! You’re completely right. People shouldn’t have to ‘come out’ in order to get on with their life and for people to understand. Sexuality is something that shouldn’t be questioned by anyone and it doesn’t make people less acceptable from the next. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as ‘normal’. We’re all unique. Sam

    1. Sam, thanks for the comment. We ARE all unique, and we live in a world where that fact is feared, rather than celebrated, as I think it should be. So, here’s to upsetting the apple cart at every opportunity!

    1. Austin, as in Texas? We absolutely adore that place. Living in Waco as we do, it offers a very nice escape hatch that we use as often as we can. And we love it precisely because of the culture it fosters. Going to Austin from Waco is like stepping out of a straitjacket.

  18. My friends include people who are LGBT, homeless, panhandlers, alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes; many have mental and physical health issues.

    Listening to many stories, I have come to the conclusion that people make their choices based on their circumstances at the time. We don’t know what choices we would make until we are in those same circumstances. Everyone deserves to be acknowledged as they are, treated with respect, dignity, compassion and love.

    Cheers,
    Dennis

  19. This is actually one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Sums the subject up completely and humorously at the same time. Brilliant.

  20. Hey, I hear you! I am a bisexual who is deeply in love with an older man. No one likes me being with him, but could care less. The heart wants what the heart wants.

  21. I come from a country where love between a male and a female was by itself considered a radical thought. Times change and so does outlook. We will wait for a day when the world is free from labels such as “gay”, “lesbian” and people be respected just as Humans. A good write-up!

  22. We need such messages of inclusion and celebration. Of LGBT people, and also of undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the Religious Right, North Koreans, black, green, orange and purple people, people with whom we disagree, people whom we judge as less than ourselves. May your words be part of a rising tide of welcoming sentiment.

  23. Fantastic! Just saw this on Freshly Pressed. So very inspiring!
    Nobody should be able to tell us who we love or don’t love and we should not be pidgeon holed into different boxes because of the hobies we ahve or the company we keep!

  24. This is truly amazing. Being who you are without having to”come out of the closet”. The concept itself is a rotten one. All our lives we have been told to embrace the true self but hardly ever is that saying practiced. Thumbs up for such a post….. πŸ™‚

    1. This is true. Everybody always tells me to “be myself,” but in thinking it over, I’m not sure anyone’s actually meant it. Generally it means (or seems to mean) “be yourself as long your self fits into my idea of the world.” Not good enough…

      1. You can never be good enough for the world.We live in a society that has changed much in it’s outlook but is still scared and pessimistic towards Change. Anything,rather everything different is treated as if diabolic in the beginning and then when one shows the courage to appreciate it, the “sheep” follow him. But we can’t escape this vicious cycle,we too are a part of it and at some point of our lives behaved in the same way that others do.

  25. This post is excellent and beautifully written. There may come a time when all forms of sexuality are considered equal by everyone and this post, in its own small way, might just bring that moment forward. Congratulations.

  26. This piece was well written, and made me smile. I agree wholeheartedly, and believe as well, that we as humans put far too much stock into what others think of us. Where there is love, there is happiness and fulfillment; the end! And congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!!!!

  27. true that..we are who we are…and if the world around wants us to come out to tag us into categories, damn to that world.
    our love, our work, our priorities, our sexuality id our own and not theirs – so who are they to demand.
    it is brave of you to put your foot down and declare who you are and I congratulate you for your courage. an inspiring post. well done.

  28. I couldn’t agree more. I think the fact that the NBA’s Jason Collins coming out is front page news is laughable, disrespectful, and tasteless. We enjoy sports for just that, sport… Not sexual preference, race, sex, or any other bias.

  29. fabulously written! couldn’t agree more particularly with the idea of having to “confess” to anything. people are far too worried about others’ sexual orientation. it doesn’t matter – a human is a human. love is love – it knows no boundaries. thanks for writing this! πŸ™‚

  30. Good to know there’s logical people out there with minds that aren’t stuck in the Elizabethan era.
    If homosexuality was a choice, then that would make all sexual orientations a choice. Considering how much hassle people in the LGBT community get, I would guess only a small handful of people would adopt a gay lifestyle simply for attention.
    Love your post.

  31. This is so…inspiring. Your first paragraph had me hooked,thinking I was reading a real coming out story. I have to say I agree with you,100% It shouldn’t matter whether your gay or lesbian or straight. It’s not anybody’s place to judge them. Thank you for this post. Hopefully it will get people to stop judging others by there sexual orientation.

    1. It is a coming out story in many ways. I was raised in a conservative home, Southern Baptist missionaries and all, and I was taught not to think on this subject, but simply to take the preacher’s word for it. And for many years I did, without much question…or at least not ones I was willing to ask out loud. I also spent eight years in church ministry toeing the party line in pretty much every way, and I know I said and did many things that caused people hurt during that time. SO, this is me saying enough. Enough of the thoughtless judgment I was taught as a duty. Enough of pretending that prejudice is love. I’m done. And I’m here now, making my apologies and (finally) trying to stand up for people I’ve left behind far too many times. In that respect, this is very much a real coming out story.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. As a fellow Baptist struggling with some of the entrenched views amongst others in my denomination (albeit in the UK) I salute you for your original blog and this reply. It’s good to know that there are people breaking out from some of our more authoritarian styles of ministry and preaching.
        I love Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
        It seems to me that in anti-LGBT attitudes there is no justice, no mercy and no humility.
        Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

      2. Hello again –

        Just a thought or two related to Jane’s comment below…

        Why do folks become part of a denomination and then complain about that group’s beliefs? Christian denominations generally teach / preach what the Bible says (of course not all, etc.). Why are folks surprised when the Church stands against sin?

        Related to Micah 6:8 – yes, we need more of this – in all areas of life.

        Have a good day,

        BD

      3. Why would you join any group and not try to improve the way it works?

        Historically, the Baptist denomination has been a champion of pluralism and diversity. In England, they were originally grouped with the Nonconformists (in regard to the Anglican Church, not the so-called “world”). When they came to the New World, they were among the earliest champions of the separation of church and state. They were once known for encouraging their members to determine for themselves what the Bible says, not simply for telling their members what it says. None of these so-called Baptist distinctives apply to many Baptist churches or para-church organizations anymore, and this is what bothers me. Baptists who do not champion these beliefs are those who, to me, belong to the wrong denomination.

        Personally, I inherited the Baptist moniker, and no longer choose to identify myself with it (or any other, for that matter). But those who do are simply being responsible members by questioning the manner in which their organization of choice goes about its business.

      4. To those using the bible as an excuse to argue against gay marriage:

        Believing in a religion is a personal choice. Stop judging people based on your personal beliefs. Why would an atheist, Buddhist, Pagan, etc. gay person give a shit what your book of made up stories says about homosexuality?

        The bible says to kill false prophets (Zechariah 13:3), but you probably don’t go around killing people of other religions.

      5. I’m judging you for limited nesting of comments. πŸ™‚ Just kidding…

        I would be categorized as reformed and belong to a conservative Presbyterian church here in the deep South U.S.A. A few reformers along the way challenged a few things as well.

        Ultimately a group – any group – has to decide what they believe and what differences can be tolerated. Within a Christian church, if you try to change the definition, that’s usually going to be problematic. πŸ™‚

        Take care,

        BD

      6. Liberalwhore,

        Zechariah 13:3 is talking about false prophets speaking lies in the name of the LORD – i.e. inside the church, not out.

        If you are a Christian doesn’t it make sense to obey the Bible? Being mean to people is one thing, but saying you don’t agree with something because the Bible says it’s a sin is quite another.

      7. Bryant Denny:

        Not sure why it matters whether the bible called for the killing of Christians or otherwise. I guess I could reference Romans 1:24-32, where it talks about the death penalty for homosexuals.

        I agree with your point on having opinions. Varying opinions is what makes this country great, but my concern is not so much with people judging, as it is with people trying to run countries based on primitive doctrine.

        Thankfully, our conservative right wingers are much more moderate than Islamic conservatives and we don’t have people blowing themselves up because they think they’re going to get rewarded in an afterlife for it.

        People put more trust in a book than on countless amounts of scientific evidence.

      8. lw – Romans 1 is talking about people rebelling against God. Romans 2 points out the sin of the religious and Romans 3 affirms that we are all sinners. It isn’t just about the death penalty for homosexuals. We are all under a death sentence for sinning against a holy God. That’s where Jesus comes in…

        Y’all have a good day,

        BD

  32. Bravo! Love wins. And I’m so happy that your message was featured– all smart and succinct and perfect, really. Let’s all come out together. xoxo

  33. I seem to member a while back reading that Nicki Minaj had been reluctant to divulge her sexual preferences, lest people use them to categorize her. Say what you will about her and her music but insofar as I properly understood her comments I agree with her completely.
    We have been tricked into thinking we should “celebrate our differences” or “embrace diversity,” but the other side of such well-intentioned sentiment is that we have been trained to see only differences rather than the essential sameness. Whatever differences we think set us apart are so trivial from a fundamental, quantum standpoint that its almost laughable to fuss about them.
    A human being, nay, a consciousness is so much more than any label given to it pertaining to its gender, sexuality, religion, political leanings, etc.. or even the sum total of those categories.
    -Andre

    1. right on! i tend to be a “celebrate our differences” person and still am good with that, but you make a good point about being too focused on differences instead of how we are the same. i guess for me i would say its not just about tolerance it’s about acceptance – once we accept then we no longer worry about the difference (but i could be wrong on that).

      1. I agree. Tolerance is undertaken from a position of implied superiority, whether it be a matter of sexual orientation, religion, race, etc. The question I always ask myself is: Fine, I brag about tolerating them; how do they feel about tolerating me? I find that a humbling thought…

  34. I love this! I’m glad it’s not just me when thinks that it’s silly that in 2013 this is still news. People are and will be who they are; regardless of people’s promise of condemnation and the eternal flames of hell. Be good to yourselves and to others, that should be enough.

  35. I agree with you. Why should people have to come out of the closet? It’s stupid, and the sooner the LGBT community becomes true members of society with all the rights of straight people, the sooner we can get this atmosphere and shame out of the way.

  36. I think for the most part this post sums up how people around the world are thinking and feeling. Everyone (unless you’re in that crazy church) has a friend or family member who likes the same sex. It’s not us that’s the problem. It’s the government.
    Great post, very nicely written. πŸ™‚

  37. Wonderful! This whole idea of “coming out of the closet” is nonsense. We are who we are and no one can deny the love we have for our fellow human being.
    I find it particularly ridiculous when some say that you have a choice in deciding your sexual orientation. But why do one have to choose!? Thank you for sharing your views on the matter.

  38. It certainly seems fair to say that we don’t have any kind of absolute, godlike choice in the matter of what desires we have–but surely we can influence them to some extent, over time, through the actions we perform?

    1. I agree completely. The whole thing, however, turns on the question of motivation: if you (or I) want to go down the road of self-alteration, we are free to do so, but only if it’s the road we choose. To impose that process on you from outside–in essence, to set myself up as the arbiter of your identity–I think is questionable at best. To try to convince you that your identity as it stands is somehow below par if you don’t choose that road…well, that is emotional tyranny, I think, however you look at it.

      Thanks for sharing!

  39. Frankly, I don’t care who anyone loves any more. And that whole “Love the sinner, hate the sin” thing? Show me that in the Bible please. Because I mostly remember the “Judge not lest ye be judged.” and my favorite, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    1. Pretty much, yeah. I’ve often wondered why we make such a point of “letting others know we disapprove.” I have a suspicion, that perhaps it’s more about patting ourselves on the back than anything else…

      1. Thanks for letting me comment.

        I didn’t agree with all of your response, but I don’t want to cause trouble on my first excursion to your site. πŸ™‚

        Take care,

        BD

    2. Bible passages are fun to use, but they should be used in the proper context. The “judge not” passage (Matthew 7:1) really should be considered in the context of the whole passage – verses 1:5.

      For example, verse 5 instructs to take the log out of our own eye before looking for the speck in someone else’s.

      The passage isn’t saying never never never tell someone they are doing wrong. Instead, it underscores the importance of our understanding own condition as a prelude to ministering to others.

      At the end of the “he who is without sin” passage in John 8, Jesus tells the woman to go and sin no more. The passage isn’t giving a free pass to sin, but rather the woman coming to Christ and her sins being forgiven.

      Have a good day,

      BD

      1. I agree, Bryant, that context is key, but I think the context of Matthew 7:1 is not so much 7:1-5 as it is the whole of the Sermon on the Mount. As such, the context is a sermon directed at individuals about ethical self-governance (i.e., it is meant to teach the individual to regulate his or her own behavior, not the behavior of others). It is preached to a society whose religious rules were almost designed to be applied externally instead of internally, and I believe it was Jesus’ way (as a teacher of ethics) of counteracting the human tendency to try and make the world a better place by telling others how to live, instead of improving it by learning how to live ourselves. The “Judge not” passage is not a preparatory step; it says nothing about ministering to others; it is simply a matter of ministering to and within ourselves.

        In any case, I have a hard time equating judgment with ministry as you seem to do. Also, you’ll notice that I mentioned neither God nor the Bible anywhere in my post. I understand that for many the issue rests on such considerations. For me, they are unnecessary. My outlook on all issues of social concern is based purely on the truth of shared humanity. The God angle, to me, obscures that connection; it certainly doesn’t strengthen it.

        By the way, I say this not to start an argument. I simply wanted to try and reply honestly to the objections you raised. I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in. Thanks!

      2. Finally, a blog about sexuality that is neutral and a perspective that understands religion and the teachings of Christ are so way different. I grew up in Fundamental Christianity and I’ve ran from it ever since. I always wondered why there were never any sermons on the teachings of Christ in the Fundamental Christianity. They taught everything but the teachings and sayings of Christ. I guess they were afraid we’d learn the truth and that would lessen the power they have over us. I’d be interested in more of your interpretations. I could utilize a new and useful perspective.

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