Coming-Out

:: I am gay

Three words, three syllables, a thousand fears. Before you say these words – and mean them – there’s often a very long time. A time extremely confusing for most of us, scaring and incredible difficult. Difficult, because it seems, you’re quite alone with your feelings and fears. Throughout the world there seem to be nobody, you can ask for advice.

:: get real

One time in my life, the comprehension, that I’m not into girls like the other guys in my age, became more and more specific. While in my class stories were told, who did it with which girl in the weekend, my mind was even more focused on my male classmates. It was much more exciting for me. I was 17 or 18 when I finally made it clear to myself that I’m actually gay. For a period it was far too long and the passion that others had developed for girls, I had for men. It got me hot and cold, when our eyes met, electric energy seemed to flow through my body when our knees touched accidentally in the school bus.

If a mail order catalog came in the mail, I depend first on the pages of men’s underwear and in a department store once hung a poster for jeans, on which two men embraced each other tenderly. That was an amazing feeling! I knew where I belonged, I was sure that gradually the many people out there learn to deal with gays, when they obviously start advertising with them

:: waste your time

The following years weren’t necessarily easier for me, they were even more difficult. I knew, that I was gay – but no one else did. The relationship to my parents was never that close, never emotional. We never talked about feelings, love or even sexuality. Than at some point a male school friend picked me on his scooter because we were invited to a party. My mum said in unmistakable sound: „So … Do not tell me you’re gay, right?“ My friend wasn’t gay, but of course I couldn’t tell her, that I was. She had no idea, that she gave me just some more years, not sure, if I could ever tell anybody. I felt lonely.

Except for occasional anonymous affairs, exciting and dangerous in dubious places, I wasn’t able to gather any real experience with men and sex. And for more I wasn’t ready, a love relationship was about much too risky, no one could recognize anything. I was terrified that my parents might find out.

When I was 19, in my last highschool-year, I found on the toilet between my school and the train station three pornmagazines. Gay of course. First, I was careful as if they were a rare treasure, hid it well for not giving my mum or my siblings the opportunity to find them under my mattress. But as my feelings became just too hard, I took these magazines and threw them by hand into the recycling box – as if it would eliminate my problems.

At the age of 23 I left my parents‘ house after the training.

:: Trust

On January 6, 2001, in my freshly-based studio on the second floor, I startet the internet for the the very first time. At the same evening I met in chat my good friend Jan. His girlfriend had left him recently and he was very depressed. Several hours I „heard“ told him intently, trying to me with encouraging words. After hours, the conversation always getting more and more confidential, I made a poorly conceived decision. Very carefully, I tried talking in a different direction: me. I succeeded and we came to speak on how it was for me with girlfriends. Of course I had to date no girlfriend, and he thought that one day would come the right she. That was the sentence, which I had been waiting for and I said, ‚I do not think that I wait for the right SHE…‘. I was shaking and my eyes glued to my monitor. It took a few seconds, came to the question, ‚How do you mean?‘ ‚Just as it sounds, I think…‘, I answered.

His reaction was great. He wrote that he had absolutely no problem with it. I was so relieved that I seemed to float suddenly. The following hours there was no other issue and I told him everything. It was early morning when we decided to go to sleep at this point.

:: feel good

From that moment everything changed. If the guys in our clique were talking and joking about women, Jan and I looked at us and grinned. It was an amazing feeling that someone was there who knew my secret. The state of uncertainty lasted for several weeks. The following month I was 24 and shortly afterwards Jan asked me, why I had stopped at that time with him and not tell anyone else. And so the cloud, on which I floated, lost its capacity and I sank back on the ground of reality. I explained that I simply was not yet ready. That was a thursday evening. And then came friday.

:: Friday, 23rd

It was an ordinary Friday with ordinary work, which ended sometime quite common. I packed my things and jumped into my car to drive the 20 kilometers home. But while I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, there was deep inside me again a half-baked idea. My pulse shot up, I turned the ignition key, put the gears in motion and drove off. But instead leaving the roundabout at the third exit homewards, I took the second. I was on my way to my parents.

On the 15 kilometers a thousand thoughts went through my head. How could I put it in the most gentle? How should I keep my emotions under control? Endless possibilities, how they might react and how I might respond … I was so excited, as if I had drunk too much alcohol. Actually, I probably wasn’t really allowed to drive a car in that mood.

When I finally reached my parents‘ house and drove up the driveway, I could not believe it: They were not at home. I rang the door but no one answered. I felt losing the ground under my feet and I was sure, I probably would not be able to do this again very soon. Depressed I sat back in the car and drove off. When I was almost home, I turned off again and went to our club room. I thought at least there I could make a clean sweep. I drove into the parking lot behind the building – and there was no one there. Everything seemed so unreal. At home I was exhausted and fell the first on my couch. It was getting dark and I was disappointed that the step from which I was afraid for at least six years so was not to come into play. On the internet I wanted to tell Jan, but Jan was not there, too.

Half an hour later I was back in the car on the way back to my parents. At least my sister was at home now. She let me in and I waited in the kitchen. My hands were icy cold, the pulse was racing and when my parents arrived 40 minutes later, I was dizzy. My mom looked at me and knew immediately that something was wrong because I’ve never been there that late hour. „No, no, everything’s OK ‚, I lied. When she inquired about the third time, concerning what is going on, I asked my parents for a confidential conversation in the living room. This too did never happen before. On the way up the steps they peppered me with a thousand questions, all went in the wrong direction. We sat down and I was faint. I could not look at her, but she looked at me, deep drilling and waited for what was to come. I tried in vain to calm me down, finally took a deep breath and told them I would tell them and all my friends these days that I’m gay.

When it was out, I closed my eyes, shook like a leaf, waiting for some reaction. The seconds seemed like hours until my mum took my trembling hand, and with serious voice said, ‚That’s OK. You’re still our son!‘ My stepfather said nothing except: „Tell no one, say nothing‘. I made clear that I was intending to tell everybody, especially my friends, so I wouldn’t have to lie any more and no longer have to pretend to be someone I’m not. After a while we went back to the kitchen, where my three younger siblings waited curiously (they heard about all this some time later). My mom made some coffee, but before I could grab my cup ever again, without distributing the content across the table, the coffee was grown cold.

I went that night with the assurance that not everything had been said. And indeed, on the following afternoon my parents rang my doorbell. They could not really believe that I was gay, trying to convince me that – perhaps – I wasn’t. I should at least try with a woman. I no longer trembled, I felt confident enough and told them sensitive, that there wasn’t anything to try out with a woman and that I also didn’t make a conscious decision like ‚I’d love to be gay, today‘. It is what it is. Just like that. They understood. The following days I told my friends one by one, two of them via chat, which was still the simplest way.

:: Did things get better?

YES. Once again, suddenly everything changed. Whatever happened, I could tell my parents and my friends! To them all, the binding was made famous by my coming-out many times more intense and longer lasting. Only to Jan I lost some time after the contact, which I’m still sad about. Exactly one month after the outing with my parents I met in chat a young man, who became my very first boyfriend for three and half years. I learned what it means to live openly gay, even towards other people not to lie and I got to know more gentle coming-out-methods.

Today I am happy that my coming-out has gone so well because I’ve also noticed quite others. I regret that I haven’t done it much earlier, because then I would not have wasted six years.

Coming-out is going on for the rest of our lifes. For new friends, perhaps at work with new colleagues, in a sports club (or maybe not), in the blog … we always meet people we can tell. But the most important thing for coming out of the closet is the backing. If you fall, someone must be there, who catches you.

if you do a life-long hiding,
you find yourself no longer at some point
– (Summer Storm)

 

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