Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why I'm Not "Out" Yet

I don't like the terminology around the idea of "coming out". It implies that a person has been lying or hiding and/or that it needs to be some big announcement.

In an ideal world we would all realize our orientations at a young age, or at least at the same time. In the real world, we come to understand who we are and what we like at very different ages; some people claim to know from as young as five, and others claim not to have known until well into adulthood.
YOLO is carpe diem for idiots, but who cares
It doesn't help that many kids are not properly educated on the topic of sexual orientation.  Health/sex education classes, if existent, are often antiquated, biassed and only marginally helpful. My school had plenty of resources and was fairly progressive so we learned about sex, masturbation, and other puberty shit, but little was said about the fact that a couple people in the room were probably non heteros. 

This lack of discussion means that young people often don't consider their orientation until after they've already had hetero relationships. How are you supposed to know that your girl friend is supposed to make you feel in a particular way? There's all this talk of love in an idyllic way, but the idea of horniness and lust are more or less brushed under the rug. 

I realized that I was into dudes in about 8th grade. I was a well-liked, good-looking guy and had always been kind of he leader of my group of friends. I was ready for bigger and better things, so I was looking forward to starting high school. There weren't really any out people in my freshman class of about 200. I wanted to play on a couple of sports teams, and wanted to be friends with guys that were similar to me. 

And so things proceeded relatively normally. I became friends with a guy who remains one of my best friends, and was at the time one the best athletes in the North East in the sports he played. Like me, he was into competition, having fun and intellectual conversations. We hung out with the other "cool" people and were invited to, and hosted, the "good" parties. Some of the most fun we had was just getting drunk together and yelling about philosophical shit. By senior year we were a crew of four bros with similar interests, all headed to top colleges. 

There never felt like a good time to announce to the crew that I was into guys. By this point there were a couple out guys in my grade, but no one I was interested in. In fact, I was super content in my crew of friends, so I saw little value in rocking the boat. Would I have rather had my crew or a boyfriend at that point? Definitely my crew. It's like they say: Bros before...bros? Fuck.

As I was going to college in another state, I was presented with another invisible fork in the road. Some people go to college and become Elizabeth instead of Beth or a party animal instead of a "nerd". I could have chosen the path less hetero, but I didn't. Instead I made new friends and somehow found myself a member of a fraternity. I had always, and still mostly do, think that frats are dumb in many ways. And mine was no exception. At the same time, I mostly do not regret joining as I made some more good friends. But that is for another post. 

Again, I never felt there was a good moment during college to tell people that I liked guys. If I'd met a cool bro that I wanted to date, I would have done that and told people. But I didn't. Maybe I didn't look that hard, but I was also very busy with school and having fun; there wasn't much time left to deal with the logistics of finding that unicorn of a chill guy. I still maintain that I had more fun at hetero bars than I have at any gay bar. As I've said, I dislike the whole homo/hetero segregation of bars and want a bar where any two people can hook up without people taking much notice. 

After I graduated, I moved to New York and had high hopes that it would be there that I would find my long lost manbro. But as I mentioned, New York is not exactly what people think it is. I had imagined that I would be a little more anonymous in New York, but no such luck. For a city of millions of people, I ran into friends from college and high school on the street all the goddamn time. It was great to have so many friends in the same place, but it also sucked. There were so many people, so much to do, that I only rarely made time to meet a guy or do anything non hetero. 

I didn't "go public" that year, but I did tell my best friend from high school and my best friend from college. The looks of extreme confusion on their faces are carved into my brain. I don't know why I had expected them to be less surprised. I guess because I knew them so well, that I had hoped that they would have sensed or intuited it. I've come to realize, however, that people have a very hard time reading me, so I think the hints I was dropping were way too subtle. I'm still close with both of them, and it hasn't changed our relationship in any major way, but I am a little pissed that they haven't been more encouraging that I tell our other friends.

They should be the ones telling me that no one will care and getting me pumped up to do it, but they're not. They are just kind of passively supportive and feel like it's "no one's business". Still, the solution to basically all this shit is a chill guy. A guy I like and who would get along with my friends.

Any day now is good, fucker.

Thanks to all the bros who have commented, sent feedback, and shared my blog with others—'preciate it. 


  1. We call come out in our own time. I did it when I was 14 or 15. :)

  2. That's excatly how my best friend reacted when I told him. He was surprised and cool with it, but hasn't said much about it. In fact, all the friend I've tol so far do the same thing.. I always have to start the conversation if I want to talk about anything gay related. I wish they were more active in their support.

  3. dude, reach around in your pants for a sec. down there you might find these two dangly things called balls. you should grab onto them, get over how "friends" might react and tell people.

    1. you can be honest about your feelings with yourself and others
    2. you're more free to share the views you share here but IRL
    3. you learn who your friends are
    4. it gets better an shit

    blaming your mates for not "pumping you up" sounds like you're projecting your own hangups on the issue.
    and blaming karma or the universe or something for not delivering to you a knight in shining gay armour in order to make it easy for you to come out is, well, come on: honey really?

    just come out to the next person you have coffee with, start with that, who ever it is.

  4. I don't think I ever had to formally 'come out', everyone just knew. It's not that I am overly effeminate or flaming, but I'm not the straight-acting-type either. I was lucky that I never really experienced any real rejection or opposition from family or friends...

  5. Dude I just came out to my family in May and I am 33. It was not easy and it did not go well as I expected. Southerns do not want to believe one of their kids is gay/bi. My m and older brother were not happy and kind of said they can't look at me the same even though I've known for years and nothing about me has changed. I just informed them of something that ate away at me for years. At the end of the day I am still happy whether they accept it or not.