What Does Your Radar Show

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?

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8 Responses to “What Does Your Radar Show”

  1. Lemuel Says:

    How wonderful it would be if all of us could come to understand vis-a-vis all others what you and your friend now understand as the only important thing!

  2. matty03 Says:

    It’s interesting how blind people can be to each other — no matter how close.

    Still, it is so cool that you told him and that the spotlight went to the friendship.

  3. Daniel Says:

    I think it’s so cool that he got beyond his own issues and your friendship was sustained.

  4. Zachary Says:

    When I came out to a friend of mine in college, he told a mutual friend of ours, “It’s like waiting your whole life to find your best friend and then finding out that there’s something horribly wrong with him.” He and I never spoke again for as long as we were in college. But I tell ya what, I think I would’ve hated the silence more. Silence is such a scary thing. No amount of nasty comments can compare to the mysterious deafening sound of dead-air.

    You’re a strong man.

  5. "Joe" Says:

    I’m glad you and your friend have worked through it. Truly, friendship is the important thing. And, while you don’t want to push it overmuch, don’t cover up or hide around him. Don’t ignore the issue. Rather, don’t ignore YOU. Be yourself.

    I only hope I can listen to my own advice!

  6. Matt Says:

    That is EXACTLY all one needs to know. Doesn’t it always really come down to that? You are friends for each other, or you’re not.

    Thanks for writing this.

  7. urspo Says:

    finding out how long a person ‘knew’ is often a disappointment or a waste of time, so i agree with your conclusions.

  8. Steven Says:

    Good decision to not go back. This is probably water “under the bridge” now for your friend. Going back to that time could open up old wounds and compromise what you’ve been able to cherish since.

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