Term used for homosexual
s who reveal their sexual identity
to the general
public. Also, shortened to "coming out
." This phrase came from the older, less tolerant
days when male homosexuals were forced to keep their pornographic pictures
and masturbation toys
hidden in secret places in their closets
so that their wives and girlfriends wouldn't find them. Below is the story of my first day after coming out of the closet. After the experience, I since came to grips with the acceptance that I really am gay
and not bi
, but here is my story at the time...
Tuesday afternoon, it snowed
, and there were only 6 of us in 6th period. Danchai was one of them, so we talked while we waited for the early dismissal. I went home, thankful that I staved Arlena off for another day. Or so I thought...
I had decided beforehand what I intended to do. She would ask me out, and I would tell her that I was gay. Not a lie, but not the whole truth. It became increasingly difficult the longer we talked on the phone that night, and I wanted to go because I knew what was coming.
"Randy, what would you do... if I told you I liked you?"
"I would say, 'I've kind of known for a while.' "
"How long? It hasn't been a while." What an odd thing for her to say.
"Like a month now."
"I haven't liked you for a month," she most obviously lied.
"Oh well, anyways, I knew that this was coming either way, so I was trying to avoid it..."
"I've been planning what I was going to say for a while now, and there's something that I need to tell you. I've wanted to tell everyone for a long time..."
"Arlena, I'm gay..." The last word came out like a faint whisper would in a tornado. Fortunately, I didn't have to repeat myself. Dead silence. Minutes passed. Maybe five... Maybe ten... Who could tell in a situation like that?
"Well what do you expect me to say to that?"
"I don't know! I just... don't know."
"Well, what do we talk about now?"
"Well, I'd kind of like to get back to Pokemon..."
"Randy, you'd rather play Pokemon than talk to me?"
"Well, it's just that things are a little awkward right now..."
And that was the last I heard of Arlena until today. Later I talked to Kyla and Skye and told them both to ask Arlena what I told her. Wednesday, we had a snow day, and therefore I was IMing Kyla and Skye all day. Apparently Arlena didn't want to tell them what I said, so I had to muster my courage again.
Each time it was still harder. Kyla kept telling me that I was scaring her, which relieved me. She didn't lose her sense of humor because of it. We talked for a while about what I intended on doing. But she still didn't want to help me. She didn't end up telling anyone besides Susanne, Kara, and Angelica later. In the meantime, I managed to tell Skye and Brian. Surprisingly, Brian took it better than I thought. He even told me secrets about himself. Apparently one fifth of his 1 GB hard drive is full of pornography. Of course, I knew this due to the "Miss Canavan Incident" last year, but I still acted like it was a nice gesture. And I guess it was. Skye and I talked for a while too, and she made up a Pokemon called ThingyBlugg. It was entertaining. She doesn't like Pokemon, but it cheered me up anyways.
I worked on the school's web page, because I had to keep myself busy. Eight inches of snow was on the ground, so friends were popping up all over the place on IM. (give them a break, they don't know anyone on ICQ except for me and Brian) Anyway, I only told Kyla, Skye, and Brian. I had the chance to tell Sony, but didn't. Oh well... I hope she finds out anyways.
"When you prepare for the worst, you find that all surprises are good."
I THOUGHT I prepared for the worst. Getting killed by gay-bashers. Getting raped by Joe Shmoe. Getting shunned by all the people I thought were my friends. Well, none of that prepared me for what was going to happen.
I walked into the school with my head held high. I would live through the day with dignity and respect no matter what happened.
I stepped into English class like I do every morning, and sat down and started talking to Angelica, who is always there. I knew that she knew, but I wasn't going to say anything. She just started talking about normal stuff. We continued even as people came into the class. Arlena came in too, and it was a struggle of wits to see who would lose their countenance first. It was her. She looked at me in a near-angry stare, and I did my best to return it calmly. I wasn't going to let her get me down.
Anyways, I continued through the day. You would think someone would have said something. Nothing. Angelica, nothing. Susanne and I had a normal conversation. Arlena and I avoided each other. Kyla talked to me about normal things as if nothing happened. Brian looked at me strangely and avoided looking at my face. Liza never knew. Nor Cat, nor Danchai; they were on a field trip all day. Kara wasn't there.
Skye kept me from going insane. I felt like it were all a dream, and nothing had happened at all. Fifth period I saw Skye, and broke my promise to myself, not to say anything about it. I asked her who she had told.
"I told a bunch of people, but they all already knew."
She had to go, and so I said bye. I would talk to her later. Until then, it was torture. Everywhere I looked, I found people who might know, but I couldn't be sure, and no one tried to tell me they knew. Then came some huge uncomfortness later. We were beginning the construction of our thirty circuits, and Mr. Holden was talking briefly to a few of us about diodes. Before that, he said that the only way to get an A in his class was to laugh at all of his stupid jokes. I did this anyways, mainly because I found them funny.
"So what happens if I turn this diode around?"
"It won't work."
"Current only flows one way through a diode."
"Good. You all get credit for this circuit." We were working in groups of three. Miriam decided to ask a question...
"So what direction do electrons travel in a resistor?"
"They go both ways, since you asked. What do you say when your friends ask about which way you go?"
Suddenly the room got a little quieter. I took the widespread quiet as a sign; I was right next to his table. Clearly some people knew, but I didn't think he could have. I mean, he wouldn't say something like that if he knew. Would he?
"Why aren't you all laughing at my dumb jokes?"
"Because suddenly they're not so funny..." I heard someone murmur, without knowing who. I felt incredibly uncomfortable, and took the circuitboard and went back to working. In my anger I got a lot of circuits done. Soon he was going off on a tangent, saying that our group, 2B, should be 3B, meaning 3 boys. Despite it, I maintained my calmness, I couldn't get angry. It SEEMED like he knew, but maybe it was just that he was comparing our group to Liza's, since we were clearly in some sort of competition. Due to my anger (and Liza and Susanne's stubbornness and unwillingness to accept my help), we leapt ahead.
Sixth period I got my Pre-Cal test back. An 86. Not my worst grade, but it was embarrassing for such an easy test. Naturally, I rushed through it. I had to put up with Danchai gloating over his 98. "That's what you get for finishing so fast!" Clearly he didn't know. I was spared a little of my worries. Still, the silence of the topic disturbed me... I don't want it to be uncomfortable, but I don't want anyone judging me either...
I lasted through the last two periods, and got on the bus. The walk was troubled, mainly because Brian decided not to join Liza and me. Regardless, Liza still didn't know.
Finally, I made it onto the bus. I waited in hope for Skye to join me. She did.
"So who all did you end up telling today?" I knew that Skye had the most chance of telling anyone. She has a loose tongue, for which I am grateful.
"A bunch of people. But they all already knew." They did?
"So let me get this straight. The truth that they know is not the truth that Arlena knows."
"Right. So who knows?"
"A lot of people. James knows." She pointed at James behind her.
"James knows what?" he asked.
"No, I'm playing, James doesn't know." I was glad that Skye was still being entertaining. Of course, we had only just begun!
"So you lied to Arlena..."
"I didn't LIE, I told her a half-truth."
"But you didn't tell her the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
"Who said I was under oath? I told her the truth and nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth."
"You're always under oath. God has you under oath."
"God says, 'Thou shalt not tell a lie,' not, 'Thou shalt not not tell the whole truth.' Well, it's really 'Thou shalt not bear false witness---' "
"Whatever, let me see your hand." I put my hand out and she started writing.
I am a LIAP
I pulled my hand back before she finished the R. "I didn't lie! I may be a liap, but not a liar!"
Then we digressed into some conversation about what a laip was. We determined that it was someone who steals priceless things. They believe that priceless means free, therefore they think they can take it.
"Oh yeah, they steal stuff like Precious Memories, and Finally Understanding Where Your Mother's Coming From, and Being Happy With Who You Are." The Master Card commercials. I was becoming happy again.
"Oh, and I'll steal Happy Happy Day too!" It's a long story... Happy Happy Day is the day you celebrate when you want to give junk away. Say, I have a crumbled up sheet of paper, and want to get rid of it. I say, "Happy Happy Day, Skye!" and give it to her as a gift. Then she makes up another holiday, and we continue on like this until it's time to leave. You'd be surprised at how entertaining it is.
"No! You can't steal Happy Happy Day!!!"
"But I'm a LIAP, and it's priceless. Therefore, I must steal it."
Skye turned to James. "Are you a LIAP?"
"What the fuck is a LIAP?"
Some friend of his said, "I think it means you're gay."
"What the fuck is a LIAP?" he repeated.
"It's someone who steals ---" I covered her mouth.
"--- who steals precious moments," she managed through my fingers. "What?"
"Great, now they know my secret. Well, one of them anyways." We both laughed, and it was time for her to go. At the very least, she was being supportive.
The moral of the story: Words can be reasoned, fights can be settled. Silence can't be resolved.