Sunday, December 17, 2006

coming out stories

I don’t recall my mother making disparaging remarks about gay people or homosexuality. I remember my dad pointing out some guys on the street, calling them "pretty boys." And I knew he was saying they were boys who like boys. But Dad didn’t live with us. My parents divorced when I was 3 1/2. Dad lived in Alaska. He would visit when he could (a couple times a year when I was little) but he wasn’t a constant presence in my life. I remember as a teenager walking with Mom’s old buddy Jean in Alameda and Jean pointing out a house where the family had broken up because the husband had "gone gay." I don’t remember Mom saying anything. Murmuring sympathetically maybe.

So I can’t point to any specific attitudes at home that led me to fear her rejection should I come out. It wasn’t until I started reading some personal testimony recently that I remembered how many coming out stories included big grief, including total rejection by previously loving parents. And certainly whenever a gay person is featured on a talk show or news program there always has to be the "balance" of some censorious bastard who must assert the ridiculousness of love and acceptance.

I’ve been reading my old diaries and I found a full account of coming out to Mom. I’ve been considering posting it.

Coming out stories are the soul of gay literature. They are central to gay culture. There are lots of places on the web where coming out stories are collected and/or invited.

Here are a few:

Coming Out Stories Gallery

Gay Stories


Coming out stories at Avert

Human Rights Campaign collection of Coming Out Stories

A Hero's Journey

GLBTQ encyclopedia

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