23 January 2009

My Second Coming Out

Coming out doesn’t seem to be a one time event. I am constantly coming out to people in my day to day interaction with strangers, acquaintances, passerby, and especially my relatives.

Today I went over to my friend’s house where his grandmother was a bit conservative and homophobic. He warned me beforehand and told me to “man up” a bit before meeting her. I wasn't exactly offended or angry with what he'd said but I didn’t know how to react. I understand that some people are uncomfortable with and do not understand homosexuality, but they just need to be educated. I didn’t feel much of the activist in me at the time, so I decided to play along with it. I’m not quite sure if that was the “right” thing to do. I still question my decision.

The next was the usual, “do you have a girlfriend” question from my aunts who are in town for my birthday. I thought that, since they’ve seen my bedroom, covered with posters of shirtless men, they would get the not-so-subtle hint and nudge - but apparently not. Again, my mother advised me not to come out to all our relatives, not from shame but because she doesn't think it necessary for me to broadcast every detail of my personal life.

I played similar situations over in my head and imagined exclaiming “yes, I am gay” or “nope, no boyfriend yet either!” but I seem to hold back my tongue whenever I'm faced with the reality. I don’t quite know why it is that I hesitate or refrain from just coming out with the truth. Perhaps it’s the fear of rejection, intolerance, or something else.

I’ll work on being more honest and straightforward from now on, but it really is a tough task to come out… again.

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