Lately I’ve started to plan a sort of fictional wedding for myself. Just yesterday, I told my boyfriend that I wanted to get married in a caftan. And a couple weeks ago I revealed to friends and Twitter followers that my wedding will take place in the woods and everyone there will be required to take magic mushrooms. (Oh, and lots of body paint will be involved). I haven’t set a date, of course. My real wedding is in the years to come.
I figure that after being with my man for four years -- and the fact that gay marriage is now legal in New York -- it’s okay to discuss fictional gay weddings without sounding like a crazy person. But as I talk to my boyfriend about a fictional wedding and as we discuss the little baby girl dog we hope to adopt this year, I start to remember the way it was back in the beginning of our relationship: my boyfriend was referred to as just “my friend” to family and acquaintances -- and I wasn’t out to my family. More importantly I wasn’t out to the world.
I mean, it’s not that I ever hid from my friends all the homosexual situations I got myself into. Hell no. And it’s not like I ever behaved differently in front of my family. Double hell no. I’m a big advocate for being yourself. You should never hide who you are.
But I couldn’t share with my family and the world that I was in love with an amazing, sweet guy. I was downplaying the importance of the only guy I’ve ever loved in order to appear “normal” and straight.
I never planned on coming out to anyone because I didn’t think it was important enough for me to do. But I think that’s also because I never thought I’d be in a relationship important enough to share with my family. That time came, of course, and I found myself feeling trapped. So, one evening a few years ago I told my boyfriend that I wanted to have some alone time to knit and think about things. I had to figure out what to do about my situation. For the first time in my life I had told someone (besides my family) “I love you.” But I couldn’t tell anyone how happy I was.
That night, I was knitting to the point that my hands were aching really badly. I put down my project, curled up in bed, grabbed my laptop and checked my email. Waiting in my inbox was a message from my mother, who lives in Texas, just asking me what I was up to and how I am. I responded to her email like normal, but before pressing the "send" button, a thought came over me. I could just end all this not-being-out-to-my-family nonsense then and there. I could come out to my mother right then. It would all be over. A gay weight would be lifted off my shoulders.
So, at the end of the email, I typed “PS I’m gay” to my mother and sent that email back to Texas. Then I went to bed.
Now I guess I should give you some background information about my mother: She is a bigmouth. I love her to death, and I have a MOM tattoo on the back of my arm to prove it. But, man, you can’t tell this woman something without her telling that something to everyone she knows. It’s just how she is. It can be annoying, yes, but I’ve learned to live with this after almost 28 years. And this is exactly why I came out to my mother and not anybody else in my family.
I’m not a dramatic guy, so waiting until I came home for Christmas to come out to my family is really not my style. In fact, the idea makes me very uncomfortable. So I figured that by telling my favorite bigmouth, it’d save me a lot of time and trouble. Coming out to my mother meant that she’d tell everyone else for me. In this situation, my mother became my own personal publicist. She was “hired” to spread the word that yes, Craig is gay. And I will always love her for that.
Waking up the next morning was interesting. I had an email waiting for me that started off with “What?? Gay?? What are you talking about??” Not to mention several text messages. But overall my mother took it well. So did the rest of the family. I had a nice coming out experience because, in the end, nobody cared whether or not I was gay. That’s all I ever wanted.
Coming out to my mother with the old “PS I’m gay” line was one of the best things I could do. It’s so nice to be closer to my family in that way because my boyfriend is a genius and he’s awesome. He makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and I like having the option to openly share all that gooey romantic stuff with the world.
My only regret is not being able to end more emails with “PS I’m gay.
It was such a good feeling that I wish I could just come out to my mother and family more than once. But that’s the thing with coming out. You only get to do it once. (If you aren’t currently out, I recommend this method. It’s quick and easy.)
So, I guess the point of this little story is that I once wasn’t out, but now I am thanks to two little words and an abbreviation. I once was sort of happy, but now I’m very happy. By now my boyfriend has met my whole family. Everybody likes him a lot, and my mother absolutely loves him. What more could a girl like me ask for?