I feel like everyone has a “coming out” story but me. I really don’t come out. I suppose I think that the topic of sexuality isn’t necessary to announce until it becomes relevant to a specific person. For instance, I didn’t tell my roommate I was bi-sexual until I had a girlfriend who was sleeping in my bed every night, which was 3 feet away from her (i.e. it was relevant to her life to know). At Duke I’ve expressed my sexuality on a need to know basis or if people were bold enough to ask me. People don’t go around nervously publicizing to their friends and loved ones that they’re heterosexual, so what’s the difference? There isn’t one…
Until I realized that my family doesn’t know. Now I have this huge problem on my hands that has been growing at staggering rates for some time. There were some phases of my life where it just wasn’t a concern. I wasn’t dating a girl, so it didn’t matter—once again, it wasn’t relevant. Then I would be talking to another female and I would feel so heavy with guilt because it was this huge secret. This back and forth would play itself out over and over again.
So here’s my current dilemma: I think I really want to come out my parents and I just don’t know how. The other day I was talking to my beloved roomie (hi V!) and she asked me if I would ever tell my mom. My quick response was something like hell no, I enjoy breathing and walking on this earth. My less dramatic response consisted of certain conditions, which are as follows:
1. My mama would have to ask, “Xan. I need to ask you a question and no matter how you answer, I love you anyways and I’m still proud of you. Are you gay?”
2. The girl I was dating would need me to come out in order to feel fulfilled in the relationship.
My mother has asked me before if I was gay/lesbian. Now if you know me, I’m all about the loopholes. My answer is always no. No, I’m not gay. No, I’m not a lesbian. I’m bi-sexual…so I didn’t lie (technically). One time she asked me if I still like guys and I answered yes. See, she never asked the right question. My fear with telling my mom is that she will be disappointed or hurt by this revelation. My mother has sacrificed so much for me that I can’t imagine causing her pain. She tells me almost every single day that I’m her mark on the world and that my successes and failures alike make her proud to have me as her daughter. Pressure much?
As for my dad, I’m really not concerned as much. We’ve always had a really rocky relationship with long stretches of time where I wasn’t speaking to him. I feel at this point in my life if he doesn’t accept me, I can easily walk away without being affected by his disapproval. However, our relationship has improved tremendously and I’m actually feeling pretty confident/comfortable about telling him. In fact, I plan to tell him this Thursday while he’s in town visiting. My GREAT idea goes something like this:
When: Thursday, December 2, 2010
Time: 8am (when he’s about to get back on the road)
Place: Outside of his car
Me: Dad, I’m bi-sexual. I’ll give you two days to think this through, then you may contact me with any questions or comments. I will not be accepting any calls, texts, or emails until two whole days have passed. I love you. Thanks for coming to visit.
*I walk away*
I’ve been told this is a horrible idea but it’s kinda all I got. I really want my dad to be supportive and accepting but selfishly, I really just want someone in my family to finally know. As for my mom, I’ve set an unknown deadline sometime before graduation. I might call her or mail her a letter. My mama and I are really close but I have no clue how she is going to react. That’s what really scares me.
Why the sudden change of heart about telling my parents? The other day I was on the phone with mom and she was telling me about some ex-boo she got rid of and I nearly blurted out, “Well I’m talking to someone new and she’s really great and I think you’d love her,” but I couldn’t. That hurt…so much. There’s a whole part of my life, and great women who are a part of it, and none of my family knows.
Nikki Giovanni is quoted to have said, “She knows who she is because she knows who she isn’t.” Well after years of going back and forth about whether I was truly bi-sexual I’ve decided that I’m bi-sexual as hell. I know who I am. I think I’m ready for the people I love the most to know too (or at least I’m working on being ready).