Coming Out

“What is your coming out story?” – that is a question I get a lot. It is not so much about how one comes out of the closet but WHY they do it.  If you are in the closet, you know what I will be talking about – all that lying and hiding, worrying that someone will discover your secret. Looking around if people watch you, avoiding questions about relationships, not going to parties.  It consumes a lot of energy and detracts from the quality of your life.

Once you’ve lived in the closet for a while, you reach that point when you just can’t take it anymore, you can’t breath, you can’t sleep, you might be getting self destructive , and it seems like your own thoughts and feelings are suffocating you.

Either you will snap or you will decide to live honestly according to your heart.

I found out that my uncle’s daughter was killed in a traffic accident and my mom was telling me about all these things that surfaced after her death. Things that nobody knew about her – some shocking and some honorable.

Her death made me re-evaluated my own life. How did I want to live my life? What really hit home was this question:

“…if I was to die today, would my own mother know the real me?”

And the answer was “NO”. I was living a lie. I could not bear the thought that people loved me for something I was not. People I really cared about didn’t know who I was.  Let’s face it, I didn’t know who I was. As days passed by, it got harder and harder to breathe.  It was not about them, it was about me.  I lived somebody else’s life and I had no idea who I really was as all my life I was trying to be somebody that others thought I had to be.

One morning I woke up and I knew what I had to do. I was ready to lose everyone who was dear to my heart, I was ready to lose my mother, and I was ready to be hated for who I was. But that was not any different from the way I already lived. I lived a lie and people around me respected and loved somebody they didn’t know. It was time to be honest with myself and it was time for me to tell the truth…It was all or nothing.  I was ready to be hated for who I was and not loved for something I was not.

I wrote a letter to my mother explaining to her that there will never be a son-in-law and told her about my struggles, my pain, and emotional turmoil.  Furthermore,  I was prepared to lose her, I was prepared to end up in this world all by myself.  I had no choice, I had to.

Once that was done a huge burden fell of my shoulders. I was able to breathe. It was like being born again. The world seemed different. It is amazing how your perspective of the world changes when you are not suffocating. When your fear and anger is gone, the world becomes a land of opportunities to be free, to love and be loved…

The reason behind my post is that one day you will develop the courage to honor your own experience of love above anyone else’s judgments about it. And if your friends turn their backs on you, you will find new friends and they will compensate for all those who didn’t stick around to witness your happiness and your new found inner peace.

P.S. Not everyone is in the position to be out and proud , there is no shame in staying in the closet while you get it sorted in your own mind and heart. You will come out when you are ready!

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About Dace

I am perfectly imperfect!

5 responses to “Coming Out”

  1. carolynpageabc says :

    Loved this, Dace. In so many ways you could have been talking about so many diverse situations. Loved the last comment.. When we are ready, we’ll come out…

  2. Laura4NYC says :

    Wow, what an inspiring post. I can only imagine how hard it must be to do such a thing, even in today’s society. And although I am not gay and did not have to experience the entire “coming out of the closet” kinda thing, I do know the feeling of shortness of breath and panic arising from living an unfulfilled life. So I am glad you made that step and that it made you feel better after!

    What did your Mom say?

    • Dace says :

      Laura,

      this is not just a “coming out” story. This is a story of anybody who does not live an authentic life. You can be straight and still give up on your dreams because your dreams might be something that others do not approve of.

      My mother struggled for a year or so and then came around as she had to choose between losing me and having me in her life. It wasn’t easy but everything is good that ends well

      • Laura4NYC says :

        That’s great (about your mom, I mean).

        Yes, I agree. Living the “wrong” life in order to look good in front of others – how many people must do that from day to day. I really wonder sometimes…

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