Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On being outed.

It has happened.

I had no control over it.

My friend was at a Bible Study (wait, did I actually just capitalize bible?). People were leaving, the night was nearing the end. But the discussion was apparently just finally getting interesting. And somehow, as my friend often does, she managed to bring up the many sins of the church to which she is so committed.

And the sin that was on her mind was the sins made against the gays.

And, for the sake of her argument I was outed. People cried - particularly those who know me. And she was ok with it; she felt as though those around her, whom would deny me the right to do the things I love (like spend time with children, spend time with men, spend time with humanity), were finally slapped in the face. They knew of somebody that was gay, and was hurt by their prejudice.

She told me the following day that she had outed me.

And I liked it.

There has been no fallout thus far. I don't know what to anticipate, but I have no concerns. This is a moment that I have feared for far too long, and now that it is just starting to arrive - now that I am being shoved over the cliff side into that precipice of the unknown - I am anticipating salvation.

And I crave it.

And I know that good will come out of it. Because I have faith in humanity, in my friends, and the people that surround me. And though I am sometimes disappointed, I am finding my faith is very rarely misplaced.


  1. Neal, this sounds like a very good thing.
    Life is curious sometimes. For example, we dread doing something ourselves, exaggerating the fear (not that I'm saying you did that), then get spared from doing the deed ourselves when someone else does.
    Same thing for me. I told only my mother and my sister (who was in Saudi Arabia at the time), that I was gay. My mother told everyone else, including my father, whom I had dreaded telling.
    I'm grateful I got the helping hand from my mother, but I know it was difficult for her because she was going through some tough stuff at the time, too (my parents's marriage was ending).
    I bet some of the weight has been lightened, right? Great feeling. Enjoy it. You're one significant step closer to freedom.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I should be honest in saying that I don't sense that my church not knowing of my sexuality has really tightened grips on me at all - at least, it hasn't for the past several months. People that I care about know, and that is good enough for me. And not being involved in my church for quite a while had given me the freedom of burden long ago.

    I am glad that it happened this way though, because my experience has potentially been used by friends to change people into becoming more tolerant. And I am ok with being a missionary in myth; so long as I don't get reduced to being gay. And only gay.

  3. It must be a relief to get that over with because as much as it is important to be able to control how and when you give out that information about yourself, there are times when if it weren't for an external force, it likely would never have happened at all.

  4. @Strange Boy.

    I think that one of the most important steps in coming out is letting other's do it behind your back, on your behalf. It forces us into a position that we are very uncomfortable with at first (we spend so much time devoted to making sure that nobody knows, then confiding in people that we trust won't tell anybody else). With this 'leak', I have been adopted by freedom - forced into a position that I didn't want but that I am very much ok with.

    It speaks volumes to the changes that I have gone through in the past couple years, when I would tell only those that I knew wouldn't tell others. I now encourage people to tell mutual friends if it comes up in discussion (as a response to inquiries about my lack in girlfriends, for example). It gives me freedom, and puts me in some surprising scenarios where I find people have known for years and always been supportive but knew that I needed time to deal with it myself. And people are always quick to point out that I am not the first gay person they knew (which is an interesting discussion to have) - which means that I am not a token for them, nor am I going to be representative of a community that is far too diverse to properly represent. We are everywhere, we just allow ourselves to be blind to that as a result of our fear.