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Celebrate This Week- July 3, 2015

03 Jul

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!
Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating the third year anniversary of me coming out.

Three years ago now, I came out– and all it took was Anderson Cooper to do it first.

“When someone would ask me if I were gay, I would deflect the question and change the subject or just flat out deny it. It was easier that way because they were asked so confrontationally and mockingly. How can I explain to others that part of me which I didn’t understand myself?

I still don’t, which is my fault. For one thing, I’ve tried not to think about it because maybe that way it wouldn’t be an issue. Look how well that turned out! I justified this repression by saying it wasn’t anyone’s business yet the more I ignored it the more of an issue it became- at least, for me.

“I will live the most authentic and best life possible that is honest and respectful of myself and others.” That may seem familiar to some of the readers of this blog since I’ve shared it before as one of my core goals to base my actions on. Maybe I just wanted another item to check off my Life List but I figured it was time to just be proactive about it and address the fact that I am a gay male so I can focus on that and other things.

I am gay. That may be the least surprising news you’ll ever hear in your life but I am. One of the things that worried me about coming out was suddenly people will think differently of me, that they’ll have me figured out based on stereotypes and clichés of what gay means to them. There may have been signs- um, hello, my Mariah Carey collection- but I don’t think it’s fair to lump people into a category based on things like that. I’ll admit I do that too, which probably made it even harder for me to come to terms with this part of me. Growing up, the majority of what I saw in the media were gay guys who were flamboyant and liked to wear women’s clothes. While that’s fine for them, it’s not who I am.

Straight people don’t go declaring their heterosexuality so I probably didn’t have to write this post. But it was necessary and important for me to do so. I still don’t have any more answers than I did before. I’m still not comfortable talking about this in public, in person. It is at least a step in the right direction towards that “most authentic and best life possible” I envision for myself- and others.”

Has anything really changed since then? Fundamentally, no. I’m still the same person. I’m not all of a sudden pooping glitter and rainbows. But I do feel freer having one less thing to worry about. And, it taught me that some of the things I’ve been worried about aren’t really that big of a deal. In fact, my family and friends have been incredibly supportive. I’m continuously amazed and grateful how lucky I am to have the people in my life.

I had thought there’d be this magical handbook that would help me navigate this new landscape I’ve found myself in. I’m still unsure about many things- but who isn’t? And what an exciting time for gay rights! I’m trying to learn about the people and the events that have paved the way to make all the successes we’ve seen possible. There’s definitely more to be done but let’s not forget to celebrate!

My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is Mariah Carey’s Dreamlover because (1) it’s hot here in Portland and (2) I’m single. 😀

What are you celebrating this week?

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3 responses to “Celebrate This Week- July 3, 2015

  1. Linda Baie

    July 4, 2015 at 5:34 am

    I have limited experience in making ‘big’ life-changing announcements, but I do think it’s wonderful that you’re celebrating this anniversary, and that you took that step. I’ve had a few talks with friends, and especially a nephew about their finally telling family, and only after telling close friends, kind of ‘testing the waters’ first. Like you, Earl, they all expressed that it was such a relief not to have this secret anymore. I’m happy for you that these are good times for you and so many, many others.

     
  2. Haddon Musings

    July 4, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Your writing about your life is very sincere. And I read this morning that with sincerity comes wisdom. I think from reading this post that the last three years in your life have revealed a lot of wisdom to you.

     
  3. Ruth Ayres

    July 4, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Earl,
    I love that you are a brave writer, always striving for authenticity. Thanks for putting words on the page and celebrating each week.
    Ruth

     

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