At first consideration, I wasn't going to include this introduction or my name in my submission to E2. After thinking about it a little more, I decided that it wouldn't make sense otherwise. It's a personal letter, so its nothing without the person.

This whole coming-out thing can get really complicated. It's a really heavy thing, a life-crisis event. In the right light, it can be viewed as a celebration, a coming-of-age masterpiece at its finest. I am afraid that in my case, being from North Carolina, the light down South just ain't the right light. My family did not respond very well to my openness. I hear a different story every day about how "someone mentioned Steve's sexuality at home" or "someone said that." The Southern lights choose to shine in other people's business, taking my problem as their own, complaining about how my sexuality destroys their lives, their wishes for the future, their desire for grandchildren.

The other week my mom called me and told me that my father didn't want me to come home anymore. Don't get me wrong in my motivation for saying this. I'm not saying it to provoke the reaction that it might get "Oh my God, Steve! I'm so sorry!" Thank you for your consideration, but what I'm really trying to do is to show all of you how appalling some people in this world are. I'm not saying anything against my father, but rather against his actions. He is so tied to his disgust of a particular lifestyle that he would forbid his own son from coming into his home. It's amazing to me how some people in this world treat their fellow men, much less their sons.

This is me. Coming out. I sent this letter to my mom back in January and here I am, unsure of exactly what kind of support I have from my parents, but sure of one thing: We are all born into this world with one life. It is our right to empower that life, but it is selfish to control another. This is my life and I will live it as my own.

Dear mom,

I guess if I was completely comfortable telling you all of this, I'd tell you in person or on the phone even. The fact is that I am not completely comfortable. I have seen what happens when such truth is revealed and, to be honest, I am left with nothing more than a huge fear for your reaction. Before you continue to read this, please promise me that you will keep the subject of this letter in confidence. It is for you and me only, and I trust that the love we share is bond enough for secrecy. Also, before you read this, I want to tell you that I love you very much, and the only reason that I feel this letter is necessary is because of that. I would keep this a secret if I could, if I thought keeping a secret between us would ultimately contribute to love or sanity and if I didn't think that openness is the key to a fantastic relationship. I love you, mom.

Mom, I'm dating someone. Really, I would hope that you would be happy for me because I am happy. The relationship is the most awesome thing one could expect in a short time. Such a fantastic emotional connection with such a beautiful person. The only fear I have is for the next part: I'm dating a guy.

I'm not sure what this means. I don't know if it means I'm gay or if I'm bisexual. At this point, I am fairly immersed in this relationship and am unable to contemplate the attraction to the opposite sex. I don't even know if my attractions are gender-driven. I think it might be a person-to-person thing. I really don't know. I don't know what to tell you except that for right now, I'm really happy with where I am and where I am going. While I wish my relationship could fit into the social norm, it doesn't, and I recognize that I have to deal with that. I love you, mom. I'm telling you this because I love you. Please understand that.

I would love it if you could be happy for me. I also understand your views on such a thing. I wish I could offer you a relationship easier to be happy for, but I offer what I have. What I have is beautiful to me and I hope, I really hope, that you can understand that and that perhaps it might be beautiful to you one day.

I've talked to Joey about this. He has a great fear that you will immediately contact him, perhaps "blame" him after I tell you this. I really hope you won't do that. I think it is awesome that I have Joey to talk about this with; I'd hate to isolate him. Please don't say anything, please.

I love you, mom very much. Please understand that that is why I'm telling you this. It's a huge issue in my life right now that even I do not completely understand. I am telling you all of this because I want you to be here for this section of my development; I want to let you in.


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