Ellen DeGeneres stood at a microphone and declared on her tv sitcom that, “I am Gay.” She received a warm welcome on the cover of Time, from Oprah and most importantly her Mother. I remember that year well. By then I was out on campus to those I most respected — my professors and myself, but what I had yet to do was come out completely and that year I did.
I come home from the university and tell one of my sisters, as she exits the door for work, I have something important to tell you. Fast forward a few hours later, my sister, not much of a drinker… called me upstairs after she was pretty close to three sheets to the wind. I tell I’m gay. She’s acts as if she already knew… my oldest nephew walks by the open door just then offended that I hadn’t told him and my niece first as they also seem to just know that which I did not.
When I told the rest of my family including my parents the reaction was all the same — it was old news to them. It was only a discovery to me. One of my brothers told me he knew when I was about five or six. They were all told to just deny who I was by my Mother and I wouldn’t grow-up to be who I was.
Then, I was told by my parents to get out of thier house and that was followed by the period of my not being able to be alone in the same room as my niece of my nephews, followed by my Mother’s likening me to the lowest of the low in terms of the social echelon. When my Step-Father had a heart attack he apologized to me for his ignorance and told me that deep down my Mother was just as accepting and that he would work to change her heart.
I find myself coming-out not on October 11th but on the odds days and times to the odds people, because the hatred is still there to treat someone less than human and that is why I came out and continue to do so. National Coming Out Day still has merit.