Holy Shit I outed myself on the internet yesterday.
For Two years I have been thinking about what this would be like. What it would feel like to not look over my shoulder anymore and wonder who knew and who didn’t. As of a few hours ago, everyone knows. It’s done.
There is such relief and such anxiety.
My whole life I had a great big story about how awful and bad it was to be gay. No one would love me, not even God. I would be rejected and outcast like all those awful coming out stories I saw and heard.
I live outside San Francisco. If I had to pick a place to come out as an upper middle class white lady in 2016, this is a good one. People have been really supportive of me and I have gotten a lot of, “Go You!” commentary. Someone offered to bake me a rainbow cake and throw glitter at me. That one is my current favorite response.
Then I got a message from my husband. “I’m getting a lot of texts… I’m guessing today was the day.”
I felt my stomach knot and I could barely breathe. I replied, “How bad is it?”
I am hearing from the supportive side of the fence, the ones that already knew or who are the kind of supportive tribe everyone wants around them when you come out. He is getting the confusion, the how can this be, and why??? It feels like there is an invisible jury out rendering a verdict and I have to wait in the weird cafeteria to be called in for the decision.
Accepted and supported, or not.
Yesterday I fully stepped out of that old identity as a straight, conservative, married, stay-at-home mother in the suburbs I so carefully crafted and lived inside for nearly forty years; that identity I wore because I was terrified of getting a “no,” verdict. I was so scared of being denied acceptance from those around me that I denied acceptance to myself. Coming out has been a process of choosing myself. There is freedom in that decision, but not a guarantee of anyone cheering for you. There is no going back and there is no safety net.
“Apparently your reach is bigger than we thought. At least it’s done.” I am so glad he is in my life. Few spouses would field those phone calls and be this amazingly supportive.
It was dinner time but I had no appetite. I got my daughter some food and ate a few bites myself and pushed the rest around.
It takes hours for the jury of public opinion of family and friends to say their piece. This is like a town hall meeting where everyone chooses sides and they line up with messages and phone calls. It’s not news to them all. Some have known for a while and have been waiting for the public announcement. They sat with me and held my hand while the others said what they needed to say.
By the end of the night I was wrung out. The world didn’t end and the dust will settle, and everyone gets to have their feelings and their opinions.
Now, I get on with the business of living a healthy and happy life. No more tiptoeing and no more carefully crafting words or excuses and half-truths. I am me. Finally. That feels so damn good!!