Coming Out Month: The Magazine Stash
It would have been mortifying (for me) if I came out to a family member, and one of them had said, “We always knew! No matter how hard you tried to delete the cookies on our computer’s history, you always missed a few. What’s a Steve Kelso?”
On the other hand, I can understand how a situation like that could be comforting. If your family finds your gay porn stash and doesn’t confront you immediately afterward, it gives them time to process what they’ve learned and accept your sexuality before you’ve even come to terms with it yourself.
I’m not even sure why I’m harping on this. The “secret magazine stash” is only a tiny aspect of today’s contribution for Coming Out Month, and there’s so much more to absorb from this (including a bonus pic of former COLT model Franco Arbruzzi). Check out this member’s story… And don’t forget to submit your own!
Click through to read this member’s story:
On some level, I think I always knew I was gay. I remember when all my friends started to like girls, and I didn’t understand why they wanted to play with them ’cause just us boys was always more fun. But I went along with the crowd, and we liked girls.
It wasn’t until junior high when an Italian transfer student joined our class that I realized I was gay. I had the most confusing feeling whenever he talked to me or was just around me. My best friend started talking about how he was falling for a girl in our class, and it dawned on me that I was feeling the same way… for a BOY!
Of course, being 1989 in 8th grade, it wasn’t something I was going to parade around. I was already dealing with “whispers” of my sexual identity, and being so wrapped up in what everyone thought of me, I continued the false journey of “straight jock” through high school.
Along the way, I had experiences with other confused gay boys, but never anything lasting or open. I played football and dated girls during the day, then hung out with two other gay kids at night and experimented.
I didn’t have the courage until senior year to come out to my best friend. And it was only by accident. We were talking about a hot bus boy, and my admission slipped out. She didn’t bat an eye and that conversation gave me the courage to be honest with my friends and myself.
It also gave me a beard.
I married her after high school. We were both means to an end for each other. She was the lynchpin in my “I am straight” campaign, and I was her ticket out of a overly religious home. We existed in a two-bedroom apartment, each having boyfriends. We thought our fake marriage would get us ahead financially and get our families off our backs.
Unfortunately, the agreement we agreed upon unraveled shortly after the wedding. She thought she could “turn” me, and I wanted nothing more than friendship from her. We split, and through a series of screw ups, I was living on my uncle’s couch and unsure what to do with my life.
My uncle was long thought by the rest of my family to be gay but he, like myself, lived the straight lifestyle. One day, I cracked under all the pressure and came out to him in a tearful conversation. He made me feel accepted and loved, and let me know there was nothing wrong with me.
He didn’t come out himself, but referred to his many gay “friends” as examples. It gave me the courage to start coming out to other family members. My kid sister and younger cousin were two of the easiest, because they loved that we could cruise for guys together.
The people I was most afraid to come out to were my mom, my brother and my grandma. They were three people who, if they didnt accept it, I didnt know if I could handle not having them in my life.
Luckily, I was wrong.
Coming out to my mom was actually a forced hand. I had made many aborted attempts, and then my stepdad overheard a telephone conversation and told my mom that she should talk to “her son” about the things he’s talking about on the phone.
My mom, having no idea what he was talking about, called me up. As she was asking what I did, I blurted out “I’m gay mom!”
Not missing a beat, she said, “Okay, but what did you do that pissed your stepdad off?”
(I still have no idea, because I thought he was outing me.)
Mom was cool, she had known since I was sixteen, when she found a magazine under my mattress. She said she wanted to let me come to her when I was ready. To this day, she has been my strongest supporter, never acting ashamed or different.
In fact, when she became single and started dating, one of the first things she would tell guys on the first date is that she had a gay son, and if they had a problem with that, then they weren’t the guy for her.
Coming out to my brother was more natural. I just sat him down, told him and expected the worst.
Instead, he hugged me and said, “Finally!”.
He had found my magazine stashes as well. Turns out that, in our neighborhood, my brother (four years younger than me) would fight anyone who said I was gay. And to this day, he is still one of my biggest defenders.
When his girlfriend was pregnant, someone made a comment that he shouldn’t the baby around me because I might make it gay. My brother told this woman that he doesn’t care if his son is gay or his daughter is a lesbian. If they turn out to be HALF the person his big brother is, then all he can do is be proud.
Coming out to my grandmother was easy, because my mom did it for me.
Unlike the others, she took it a little different and cried. She was worried she hadn’t protected me and that someone had made me gay. Once I explained to her that no one did anything to me, she was good. In fact, her last Christmas before she passed away, she met my then-boyfriend and introduced him to people as her grandson’s boyfriend.
I feel I got very lucky. I have a very accepting family who understands me being gay doesn’t change that I’m still the same person I always was.
I work with amazing people who have never had an issue with me. I lost two friends because their religion said I am “wrong”, and they couldn’t accept me.
But overall? Coming out made life amazing. Being true to yourself makes all the difference in the world. I’m glad I did it at nineteen and didn’t wait until later (like other people I have known).
My uncle, who was extremely closeted, came out to me during my coming out phase, but asked me to keep it between us. He wasnt ready for everyone to know yet, and he was jealous that I was secure with myself and didn’t care what anyone thought.
Five years later, he found his inner strength and came out (though we always joked the door had been wide open). He now lives with his partner and three adopted sons.
So, yeah, it gets better. There are those out there that will shun you, but there are TONS more out there who will accept you and love you for WHO you are, not WHAT you are.
Head over here for details on how to submit your own story, or click below to read more: