I was talking to my friend recently about the worse things that can happen when you step out of the closet. He recently stepped onto his own journey of self discovery. During our conversation, he asked me “what’s the worse thing that can happen”.
And for his question, I had no answers. I told him that I really didn’t know. Like him, I am still on my own journey. I feel like I’ve only got one foot out the door and haven’t fully revealed my true self to everyone. Of course I talked about some of the silences that often follow gay jokes that my friends tell (their discomfort about telling those jokes which they once laughed loudly about–but I told him that I didn’t see it as tense moments of conversations, but a victory because they could no longer put stereo-types on anyone’s lifestyle). But I told him I didn’t know the full impact of being completely out.
I really don’t know what it’s like to be completely open with everyone. I don’t even know how to be open with myself. Let’s face it, if I were that comfortable with myself, then I wouldn’t mind telling everyone that I am a gay man just trying to balance my life the way everyone else does.
I gave him the best advice that I could. The same advice that many blog writers/readers/commenters have given me. I told him he has to do it on his own time, in a way that makes life comfortable for him.
The one thing I hope he got out of this conversation is the fact that he has me as a friend, someone who’ll try to steer him in the right direction. And I hope that he finds that in the end, it isn’t about who you love, but that you are able to love.