I met a new friend the other day. While we were talking he said “my boyfriend” and suddenly stopped. He searched my expression for either horror or surprise. When he saw neither, he said “I’m not out to everyone”. I told him he didn’t have to talk about anything he didn’t want to, that this was really none of my business.
He said that it has been a struggle. He explained that his parents were non-accepting and although they didn’t throw him out of their lives, they told him that they don’t ever want to talk about his social life. He said it has been two years since he told them and he has yet to bring his boyfriend home. On the other hand, he said that his siblings have been extremely accepting and that the first Thanksgiving he was afraid to go home, his sister volunteered to have it at her home so that he would feel comfortable knowing that she and her husband had his back should his parents say anything rude.
I told him that I was also struggling with coming out. I saw him breathe a sigh of relief when he realized that I was also gay. He told me that he was available to talk any time, day or night. He told me to never hesitate to call. He remembered what it was like to wake up in the middle of the night and not hear a reassuring voice.
We wondered why it would always be a struggle, why it had to be one at all. Someday I hope for those who are younger, for those yet unborn, it won’t be.