Continued from Part 1 –
I also learned that one of my very good friends was gay. This is really the first time I had ever met someone who was gay. It’s a funny story, how she came out to me and how I was introduced to the idea of being gay. We were both in a Diversity class. We had the class at different times, but we had the same assignment. We had to write an autobiography about our life. Oh, boy did I have things to write about. We had include our feelings about race, religion, sexual orientation and other such diverse things and how we came to feel that way. It was supposed to be a way of evaluating our beliefs and how our past has shaped our future.
My good friend, Katy, asked me if we could swap our autobiographies so that we could proofread them. I was fine with that, I didn’t have any reason to hide any of my past junk with her, she knew most of it anyway. When I sat down to read hers, she talked about being in Catholic school and being raised in a very large family. As I turned the pages, I learned more and more about her. Then she told the story of when she came out to her parents.
I was in shock. This was Katy. I didn’t know anyone who was gay before. And frankly, in my own autobiography, I talked about how homosexuality was wrong and God said it was a sin. I said that I didn’t agree with it and made some pretty upsetting comments about it. Needless to say, Katy and I had a nice long chat after our exchange of autobiographies and I decided that I loved her no matter what. I didn’t care that she was gay and that God couldn’t possible send someone like her to hell.
Anyway, college was kind of a blur and really it was pretty much the normal. I met a boy, I fell in love with him, we were together a good portion of my first year in college. However, right before the end of the school year, right after Valentine’s Day, he came out to me as well!
So, needless to say, we broke up! However, we stayed good friends and I enjoyed hanging out with him on different level. We had a nice, tight knit group of friends while we were in college and we all pretty much hung out together.
At one point, there was a snag, a bump in the road. I accidentally outed my two best friends. It was innocent and at the time, I didn’t feel like I outed them, but looking back I know that I did. A few of our friends had come out and asked me if I knew whether or not Katy and Rob were gay. In my heart, I knew I couldn’t come out and tell someone that, it was a very personal thing. So, instead, I simply said, “You need to ask them that for yourself.” Of course, they automatically took that as a confirmation from me.
Look, I’m not proud of how I handled that situation, but I also didn’t know how to answer the question. I didn’t identify as gay at the time and I likely didn’t really grasp how important it was for either of them to stay hidden until they were ready to reveal themselves.
By the end of a very long gossip filled, rumor filled couple of weeks, Katy blamed me for our group of friends finding out she was gay. I don’t blame her for that now, I did, in a way, out her. I still feel terrible about that. She stopped speaking to me and in fact, was pretty vocal in her hate for me. I lost my best friend that day and it has haunted me ever since. Of course, now, I know how hard it was for her to be forced out in the open like that. I didn’t do it intentionally and I certainly didn’t mean to hurt her, but I did.
So, I lost my best friend and I started reaching out for new ones. My entire group of friends stayed friends with Katy and I was left with pretty much no one but Rob. He and I were pretty much inseparable for quite some time. This is when I started to wonder what it might be like to be gay. Yea, I know, it sounds like I just woke up one day and decided to be gay and the simple explanation could be just that. I had a realization that I wasn’t really as straight as I thought.
Once the door was opened, I wasn’t sure how to step through it, but I started to think that maybe I should. The door was never visible to me before. It was also not an option for me. I didn’t even know the possibility existed. I won’t lie, it WAS as if the door appeared one day and I was just … gay.
I started by being bi-curious. I’m sure I’m not the only one who had that label for some time. I wasn’t quite ready to sit down and decide that I was gay forever. I didn’t even know what that would mean. I hadn’t figure out the ins and outs of it all.
At any rate, I set up a profile on one of the dating websites for gays and lesbians. I didn’t put up a picture and I didn’t really fill most of it out. I didn’t initiate the conversations, I’m not really sure what the goal of this action was. Probably just to stick my toe in the water, look around, observe, I never had the plan to actually meet anyone or go on a date with anyone.
I had plenty of women IM me. They really did freak me out a little bit. They sent me pictures of body parts and wrote me some pretty explicit things. I was almost turned off by the whole idea of being gay. Not because I wasn’t gay, but because these women on this dating site were aggressive and they were quite … scandalous for me.
Then K sent me a message. Just when I was about to close the chat and shut down my profile on the site, her IM stopped me. I’m not exactly sure what she sent me, but it was normal. It wasn’t some naked picture or dirty text. It was a simple hello.
To be Continued ……