I recently reunited with one of my friends. He was one of the first people I told I was gay. His reaction was not what I thought it would be. But I forgave him. We all make mistakes and in the heat of the moment we all say things that may be not be retractable, but over time can be forgotten. To me it showed growth in our relationship. As the old adage goes, “there can’t be laughter without tears, sunshine without rain, happiness without grief”. And because we went through discomfort, now we can sit with one another comfortably.
When I told him I was gay, there was complete silence on his end of the phone. Granted, I should have never told him over the phone. I agree it was a cowardly way to come out. But driving the 14 hours to his home wasn’t an option. Although in retrospect, it would have given me the time to practice what I was going to say, how I was going to say it and all the things I could have said in retaliation to anything he would have said. I didn’t have the courage to tell him face to face though. Sitting across from him might have just shoved me back into the closet and into the warmth of the folded stack of sweaters that I keep in there as a facade of comfort.
I was tempted one night to ask him why he had never suspected I was gay. I wanted to know why his radar didn’t go off. But I resisted. Maybe his radar did go off, but he ignored it. One of my blogging buddies told me that people see what they want to see, until forced to see otherwise. And he wisely told me that it would do no good, I may not get the answer that I want to hear. Up until the time my buddy thought I was straight, he ignored some of the signs. Now in retrospect he might be thinking “oh yeah, he does do that”.
I have moved on from asking him anything. When we put all the drama of our fight behind us, he told me that one of the only things he really understands about me is that I’ve always been his friend. And isn’t that all I really need to know?