After charging full steam ahead on the trail to ‘Outsville’ to my friends, I felt ready to tackle the biggest hurdle any gay man faces – telling the family. Again, I wanted it to be quick and painless, but it was foolish of me to think that something so major could be done in such a nonchalant way. Yet, despite this naivety, I knew I wanted to keep the momentum going and tell them soon after I had told the last friend. It was to be almost a year later when I started the family inroads.
I always had moments when I was going to say something to a family member, but then I was always put off by a casual remark about ‘gays’ or ‘getting it up the Hershey Highway’ or even the timing was not right due to circumstances, that I never said anything.
It was one wintry afternoon during one of our regular bitching sessions that I knew it was time to tell my sister – the one person I get along with the closest. I was ranting on about something that had pissed me off which led to her responding about a similar situation that had happened to her. It was during her rant, that I just thought “This is it. I should tell her”. And so I did.
It came as no surprise to her, and was accepted fully and wholeheartedly as I knew I would be. I only hoped that the situation with the parents would be the same, so you could imagine my surprise when the issue of me potentially being gay was never mentioned amongst my family. Here was a hurdle I didn’t expect. Despite this psychological hurdle, I still had a good feeling of how they’d react.
Weeks passed, nothing said, until finally on a non-descript Monday night I wandered into the living area and told them I had something to say. As I started my spiel, instantly my dad knew what I was going to say. I hadn’t even said those two little words yet when he moved over to me and said “If you’re happy and you’re comfortable, then I’m happy and comfortable.”
But my mum was still unsure what was happening. It was after I said the words that the shock and surprise set in. After a few minutes, the initial shock settled in she motioned for me to sit next to her and she hugged me. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.
It was a few days later that we spoke further about the revelation, I dropped on them. I told them how it all came about and how happy and relived I really was since coming out to my friend all those months ago at Midsumma Carnival. The response was positive and overall, went exactly how I had hoped with the reactions exactly as I had expected.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better response. And although it will take a little longer for the parentals to understand it all, it’s been a fairly painless and uplifting process. Friends and family have all taken it into their strides and have been, and continue to be supportive.
I know the coming out process is never ending, but for me, the most important people in my life are aware, everyone else is secondary. If others, who find out, have an issue, it’s theirs to deal with. I’m out. I’m happy. I’m free.