About a year ago now I was sitting on my lounge and multitasking like any good 21st century teenager: watching TV, googling on my laptop and playing Jelly Splash on my phone. I came across a few videos of kids coming out to their families and friends as gay. Now, as an avid LGBTQI supporter, watching these types of videos was not unusual for me. What was different this time though, was that my father walked in.
As I sat their, holding back the tears of joy as these people were accepted without a fuss by their loved ones, I noticed Dad looming in the doorway and grinned at him.
“What are you doing?” he asked me hesitantly – that should have been the first sign of what was to come.
Naive as I was, I explained the videos and turned my focus back to the screen. But he wasn’t done. As I sat there in shock, he calmly explained to me that he would love me no matter what my sexual orientation.
Two things occurred to me at this point: firstly, that there were so many people in this world that would give anything to have a father as amazing, loving and accepting as my own, and secondly… ‘Shit, I come across as a lesbian!’
I like to think that my reaction wasn’t due to fear of being gay, but rather fear that everybody – let’s be honest, boys – thought I was a lesbian which was why they never asked me out. So, I sought out my friends for reassurance. At a sleepover a few days later, I recalled the story with a grin and chuckled along with them at the end. Then there was an awkward pause…
“Well,” one of my friends said, obviously braver than the rest, “Are you?”
Sometime in the next few months – after recovering from my shock – I came to a realization: this is what people in the LGBTQI community all go through and we don’t consider it weird. At all. It’s normal.
Still puzzling over that, I watched this fantastic comedy sketch a few months ago and it really stuck with me. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean:
He’s a funny guy, but more than that: he’s right!
In the several times I’ve been asked this question over the past 12 months, I always dig myself into a deeper hole. I’ll demonstrate:
They say: “Blah blah blah (vague reference to my sexuality) blah blah.”
And I reply: “Yeah, I’ve been called gay a few times…”
An awkward pause.
Them: “Are you a lesbian?”
And it’s this moment that stretches out to infinity: I weigh my options, think about my response and always say the same thing that gets me into strife: “No… Or at least I don’t think so…”
And they love that – they sense my hesitation and go it for the kill. What I don’t understand is how my refusal to be adamant that I will never fall in love with or be sexually attracted to a woman makes them so confused! Just because it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it never will – for me or for them!
So this is me officially coming out of the cupboard to my friends, family and all you random strangers and hoping for your acceptance.
I am straight.