Hello there! Welcome back to the blog! Today we’re reviewing the Morphe brush #82846282. Oops, sorry, wrong blog. This is Part 2 of my series, “7 Stages of Coming Out” — stories of my grappling with sexuality and trying to communicate it with others. You can read Part 1 here where I come out of inadequacy and requirement. And now for the third stage . . .
3. Coming Out of Blue Striped Shirts
I asked God for a sign. I wanted it to be uncommon but also not impossible. I wanted to be sure it was actually coming from Him.
Looking at the blue and white striped shirt in my closet, I asked Him to show me ten different people wearing the same shirt — all in one day.
The next day, I went into Uni on the hunt for blue and white striped shirts. On my commute, I saw two. In my first class, I saw one. During my lunch break, I saw another one and another one.
By the end of the day, I saw more than twenty people wearing blue and white striped shirts!
The next couple days I kept looking for more, but I didn’t see a single person wearing blue and white striped shirts anymore.
I’d asked God for a sign; He’d given it to me. It was now time to come out to my mom.
Feeling disappointed after coming out to a guy in my Bible study and then my youth pastor, I grew more apprehensive opening up about my sexuality with other people. The desire to tell people faded, and the thought brushed aside into its little compartment in the aparador.
After about a year, though, the little gay boi in the closet started knocking again and wanted to come out. The desire to be known started to germinate from that dark, cold, humid corner.
The next person placed on my heart to tell was my mom.
I wasn’t really close to my mom. Living in a third-world country, she had to work hard to provide me and my sister a good life — a life she wanted to be distant from her own growing up, a life in poverty, not eating every day and not being assured of where to sleep the next night.
My only memories growing up with my mom consisted of a couple minutes in the morning and at night. Sadly, my love language turned out to be quality time, and we didn’t really have much of that.
From my point of view, we weren’t that close and I didn’t feel very loved. Coming out to my mom was probably the hardest coming out I had to do.
Learning from my two previous coming out experiences, I wanted this one to be different. I wanted to present myself as all put together with everything under control. I planned this moment for a long time and did my research.
No matter my mom’s reaction, I’d be ready for it.
I binge-watched coming out videos on YouTube with people filming their parents’ live reactions. I scoured the internet for LGBT-themed movies that revolve around coming-of-age stories from a Christian background.
I wanted to know every possible reaction I could get from my mom so that I’d be ready to respond.
After my research period and that clear sign from God, I scheduled one night to finally come out to my mom. I even told Jake from my Bible study so he could hold me accountable.
We were watching TV in the living room one night, and I told my mom I needed to tell her something. She waited patiently for me to talk as the TV shows finished one by one. It was getting late, and it was as if my jaw were locked and I couldn’t say anything.
With the TV network about to sign off just after midnight, I finally opened my mouth . . .
It was the first time I’d used that word. I used gay because I wanted all the cultural connotations and negative associations that came with it. I wanted an honest reaction, almost looking for the worst possible repercussions.
I wanted to know if, despite all that, I would still be loved.
The rest of the night feels blacked out in my mind. All I can remember was an emotional, tense, yet warm and loving moment. My mom told me she already had a feeling I was gay, and I’d just confirmed it. She asked a lot of questions as she cried, and I was able to answer all of them.
I was able to show myself as all put together and “already knowing what to do,” as my youth pastor had put it — even though it was far, far from that.
It was getting late, so I ended that conversation with my mom and ran to bed.
The next morning, as I was sitting in front of my computer probably playing FarmVille or something, my dad came over and gave me a hug. My mom had told him.
My dad never gives hugs. It’s the only moment I can remember when he tried to hug me. I say “tried” because he came to hug me from the back whilst I was sitting in a chair, nearly performing the Heimlich maneuver.
My dad actually didn’t know how to hug or give affection. His own father had died whilst he was still very young, resulting in his becoming an absentee father himself.
Why did my dad hug me then? Did my being gay spark something in him? Was he heartbroken that his son had to go through life processing all the things that come with growing up gay, alone in the church? Was he guilty that his son had turned out to be gay? Or had my mom just told him to hug me?
My dad’s hug reminded me of this scene from the movie, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs:
The dad in the movie wanted to communicate something to his son, but he didn’t really know how to do so. So, someone placed a “monkey translator” on him so he could communicate what was on his heart.
What was going through my own dad’s mind? I don’t know. I wish I had a monkey translator.
The next few days, my mom tried to reach out and talk more about the topic. But I didn’t want to. It was still too much for me; it still is today, even now.
With my dad, well, that Heimlich hug was the only reaction I got.
It’s now been a couple years since I came out to my parents. Even though I have personally evaded the topic, I also feel like my family dynamic has changed in a lot of positive ways because of it.
Looking back, I believe there was a purpose to that next jolt of coming out. This time, coming out wasn’t just for me; it was also for my family. It somehow prompted my parents to work on things in their own lives — their relationship with one another and with their children.
Even though I’m still not in that healthy place with my own father, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be, I’m relearning the ropes of what it means to have a good father — with my Heavenly Father.
‘Cause I loved you before you knew what was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave
This is a lyric from one of my favourite songs. It speaks of our Heavenly Father’s love. A love that I shouldn’t be scared of, a love that will never fail me, a love that has sacrificed for me.
He is a father who has never been absent in my life, who knows me more than I know myself. A father who weeps with me in times of sorrow and has been rejoicing over me since before I was even born. A father who will always make me feel home.
How has your relationship with your parents changed after coming out to them, for better or worse? What holds you back from coming out to your parents?