I need you to know what you have done to me recently… (I know what an opening line… right?)
I have just come out to a few friends, and I have started to get support from my new Facebook world: Affirmation Fathers, Affirmation, etc., however, somewhere in this midst of trying to become authentic, my wife did not like where this was going. She told me I cannot come out to anyone for a few years while she gets her life up and running.
Ok, I get that, but I can’t go back in the closet.
But according to her, I have to; it’s something that I have never ever imagined. Coming out is scary as hell, but wanting to come out, and realizing that you can’t—not because you don’t want to, but because of threats from my wife is even worse in my opinion.
I have received so much support from the Latter Gay Stories podcast as well as from other inspiring men that are openly out. I look at them and say, “ok, so if it can work for them, then maybe it can work for me,” even if I am feeling all broken and damaged and unrepairable. Your posts have given me so much hope in such a dark world that I’m living in. I do not have any support from home or from my parents and siblings. My own family with my wife and kids is very rough and that’s putting it very safe to say. So what you post has given me so much strength.
Now to the biggest thing you have done for me…
This past Sunday was the Utah Pride parade. I live in very quiet, very sheltered Bountiful, Utah and I work for the Church in Salt Lake City. So I had driven past the Pride celebration and saw what was going on. I sat in my truck and I would just bawl. I wanted to go to Pride and be out, and celebrate a new part of me that I had kept quiet for my 23 years of marriage and all throughout my life—but I couldn’t. At least not right now. Someday yes, but not right now.
So Sunday morning I wanted to go to the Pride parade, but I couldn’t. I was devastated. Until I remembered that Latter Gay Stories was broadcasting the Pride parade on Facebook.
So I sat there in my house, with my laptop on, everyone asleep, watching the parade. And I was crying my eyes out. They weren’t tears of sadness; they were tears of love and acceptance for myself. I had always thought I was alone (yes, I know right?) but I did. I did what I was supposed to do my whole life, live a good faithful Mormon life. I shoved my whole world into a box and never opened it to acknowledge that I was gay. I thought this was how God was taking care of me. I started to think that I no longer had a purpose to live. I had just tried to commit suicide unsuccessfully the week before and then the Pride parade comes on and I’m starting to feel – ok. Maybe I do have a purpose, maybe I am loved, maybe I am a good person, maybe I can do this.
I sat there watching the parade in my home, bawling and starting to shed years of hate, anger, sadness – you get it. But I couldn’t have done this without the broadcasting of the parade. I don’t know when I will ever be able to go to Pride. Someday, I hope, and when I do, I will be proud of who I am. I am beginning to realize that I am a good man. I am a gay man and that’s ok. I have baggage but that is ok.
There’s a great story titled “You are Special.” if you don’t know what it is, I would encourage you to look it out and read it. The whole premise is that some people are good and have a few “dots” and other people have a lot more. I am completely covered in dots myself, but in the end, when I was through watching the parade and bawling, I felt like some of my “dots” came off. You helped and you continue to help me see who I am right now, and what I can ultimately become as a happy, gay man.
I needed you to know the effect that something as simple as sharing the Pride parade online had on me. I debated telling you, kind of embarrassed, but I can’t be quiet anymore. I can’t thank you enough. Some day, I will meet you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Because you have a voice, I’m slowly finding mine.
We want to hear your story–here’s how to share it with us!
Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult; while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Coming out is rarely easy–but your story will help others draw inspiration from your own experience. We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive and invite you to share your story now.