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[Life is So Much Brighter Outside of the Closet]

21
Sep 2017

Life is So Much Brighter Outside of the Closet

So…no matter how much you’ve tried to deny it, you’ve come to the realization that you ARE gay. You’ve really known it for as long as you could remember, but hoped that it would magically go away or fix itself. This is how I felt when I was still in the closet. The thing is, is that you and I are NOT broken. You are merely at a crossroads in life that millions of people have, are, and will struggle with. I did.

I remember when I was in my grade school years lying in bed at night not able to sleep, clenching the sheets over my head asking myself, “Why me? Why did this have to happen to ME?!” I thought that if my terrible secret got out it would hurt all of the important people in my life. So I played a part. I played a part of someone I was supposed to be. Someone that was NOT me. There is nothing more damaging to your soul than “living” life pretending to be someone else. It puts you in a dark place that seems to get bigger, darker, and more empty, every lonely day. You may think you’re all alone, and in all of your despair you don’t realize…there are so many (just like (but not exactly like) you) that are sharing your pain. It’s that damned closet. Well…step outside. It gets better. Life is so much brighter outside of the closet.

My sisters were the ones that helped me over my threshold. I was close to them and they knew, but I didn’t know they knew. I thought I had everyone fooled, because the man I lived with was my “room mate.” They had me over for dinner one night and after dessert just flat out asked me. I was so shocked and blindsided that I couldn’t do anything but confess the truth. And as I heard myself for the first time admitting to someone, “I am gay,” I overwhelmingly felt scared, yet liberated. I knew that from that point on life was going to change in a major way. I knew that I had to tell my parents, and when the time was right, I did. My mom cried and tried to deny it for a week, but eventually (probably from some coaching from my sisters) came to a realization. She told me, “You are my son, and I will always love you no matter what. I just want you to be happy.” With my dad I thought it would go one of two ways. Either he’d blow his top and exile me from his life or he’d be like, “Okay.” In hindsight, I was silly to think he’d react any differently than the latter, because he told me, “You are my son, and I will always love you no matter what. I just want you to be happy.” I truly am one of the lucky ones to have had such a supportive and unconditionally loving family to help me through one of the most difficult times in my life.

That’s how simple everyone’s coming out story should be. Unfortunately…it’s not. There’s a full gamut of conditions that will determine the outcome of your coming out. What IS consistent in everyone’s coming out story is that you must rise above the fear and doubt. When the time is right you will know. And you simply won’t know what the reactions of the people in your life are until you tell them. Luckily there are plenty of resources that will help you out of the dark, over the threshold, and into the light – especially now. I suggest checking out the It Gets Better Project online. Watch some of the videos. They will inspire you, make you smile, and probably make you cry.

In my experiences I’ve lost some people and found new people. The important ones – the ones that really mattered – stuck around. I’ve discovered a whole new gay world that I never knew existed. There have been ups and downs just like anyone’s roller coaster through life. Some people will love you and some people will hate you. Some really won’t give a damn. There will be romance and heartache; new life and lives ended. Life will be life – gay, straight, whatever. But at least you can go through yours and own it as the person that you truly are. Don’t wake up one day in your fifties and realize that you’ve lived someone else’s life, because you can’t get those years back. Come out while you still have your life ahead of you.

People choose how honest to be with the world, and that is their right. I don’t shove it down anyone’s throats or introduce myself to people like, “Hi. I’m Jimmy. I’m gay.” But I sure as hell don’t hide it either. I am so proud to be a gay man. And I wouldn’t have come to this point if I hadn’t unfurled from the fetal position, stood up, and walked out of that closet. You won’t know how people will react to your coming out until you make that jump over your closet’s threshold, but know that there is a wide support net out here waiting to catch you. It’s our gay community. That’s why we call ourselves “family.”

Jimmy Biascan