During: The Coming Out Trilogy
So, if you’ve been reading these out of order blogs about when I came out, you’ll know that I started miserable, moved to a new city, grabbed myself a fresh start and was having some fairly convincing thoughts about being maybe just a little bit gay. You’ll know that the aftermath of coming out has been great, although very much pummeled by the sadness that comes from being crossed of the Christmas list of some dear friends, who cannot tolerate my sexuality.
But what about the during?
I don’t want people to think that I made the call to “come out” lightly. When I came out, I was single: I didn’t come out because I was in a relationship, nor did I come out to fit in with the latest trend sweeping the planet.
I did it because it was time to be OK with myself.
I had a couple of concerns, of course – mainly, would my flatmate think I had been perving on her? Would I have to start loving KD Lang? Would I stop wearing deodorant and tending to essential leg and armpit grooming?
None of these things happened.
For the most part, the news was received with a response of “Yep, ok… You’re only just realising?” Seriously. Everyone seemed to know well before I did.
It is worth recounting the conversation I had with my Dad, though. I’d stopped in at his place with the aim of talking to him about it. He wasn’t home, so I wrote him a note and headed to see my sister. I was at the end of the road when he rang…
DAD: Kels why didn’t you ring me when you were here, I was just on the farm.
ME: I don’t know, Dad.
DAD: Well let’s chat now on the phone. How long are you in Sydney for?
ME: Um, I kind of wanted to speak to you in person. I’ve got something to tell you.
DAD: Oh God, you’re not pregnant are you?
ME: No Dad… Kind of the opposite actually…
DAD: You’re becoming a nun?
ME: Noooo… It’s just that I wanted to tell you that I’ve been dating someone. They’re honest and loving and gentle and funny and committed to me.
DAD: Oh. Well that’s good.
ME: Yep… and they are female.
DAD: WHAT??? Kellie! This is going to be a bit of a scandal, we’ve never had one of these in the family before!
ME: I think Dad that people are just going to be happy that I’m happy…
DAD: Well I am. It’s just a bit of a shock. So tell me about this girl..
This was also the year that Dad got his first girlfriend after Mum died. I asked him when my girlfriend could meet his girlfriend. He giggled. I giggled. All was well.
The very vast majority of people have been supportive. Mostly, it comes under the “We’re just so glad you are finally happy” umbrella. I’ve met new people, experienced a whole range of adventures, and essentially, got my life back.
There have been hugely negative responses. From not-so-brave “unfriendings” on Facebook through to openly disgusted emails, I’ve been really devastated to experience judgement, social snubs and the end of some long term friendships.
Is life a bed of roses now?
But I’m happy to be alive, and that is a hell of a lot better than where I was before I came out.
Life sometimes does contain traces of shit. Sometimes it’s a total shit storm.
But if you want to be alive, and can keep looking forward to the next day, then I figure that means that you’re experiencing a pretty level and normal range of emotions and life events.
I’ve learned stuff, too: that if I was in America, I would not be allowed to carry on a Cub Scout leader. That in Australia, I’m not allowed to get married. I’ve learned that there are beautiful people in all sexualities and beliefs and genders.That being gay opens a whole new range of jokes and opportunities for crossing the line.
And so, life keeps trundling along.
That’s it for the trilogy, by the way. There are no hidden episodes, no extra stories, no surprise come back tours.
But there will always be another blog, another day…