Monday, November 19, 2012

Coming Out

I am currently working on a contract in a distribution center.  So we have inside office people and people who work in the warehouse. While the company is one big happy family, the conversations that take place in the warehouse are of a vastly different nature and flavor than those inside.  I really enjoy the warehouse, including some of the more, um, raucous conversations - like the day the warehouse supervisor brought in bull balls and fried them up.  But that's perhaps for a different post. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through the warehouse and some guys I've been working with stopped me telling me they had a question for me:  Were you born gay? Or did something happen to you?

I imagine for some people who are gay, perhaps, something happened to them.  It may have simply been something that helped them acknowledge who they are, or it may have been something traumatic to turn them away from the opposite sex.  But most of us are born this way.

And I want to clarify what "this way" means.  I believe very strongly that sexuality exists on a spectrum - with very few people actually being one extreme or the other.  I think a lot of people who identify in one direction or other, may be within 20% range - where 80% -99% of their attraction is for one sex (gender, whatever the politically sensitive word is today! ;) ) and 1-20% perhaps possibly attraction for the sex / gender that they don't identify as their sexual orientation. 

A lot of "activists" might shy away from saying these things, because if there's an ounce of possibility you might like the opposite sex, then, gosh, being gay is a choice.  No.  Not exactly.  Choosing to be true to who you are is a choice.  Choosing who you find attractive is not. 

But that's my opinion - for whatever it's worth.

For those who identify as straight, or heterosexual, there rarely is an "aha!" moment where you realize you are "straight".  You may have a moment where you have it confirmed - where someone just looks SOOO hot, and.. well, but usually you start with a base understanding that you're straight, and to figure out that you're something else is the way it works.

I came out in high school.  I had done some experimentation, that in hind sight, made sense and confirmed that I was gay, but I didn't realize that at the time.  Nope, I assumed I was just like everybody else, and so I tried to find boys who were cute, and went on dates.

But none of them really clicked for me... I went out with this one guy who was really sweet, wooed me, paid for our dates, bought me stuffed animals, and did all of this even on the date where I decided to let him go and break up with him. 

And I wondered - if such a wonderful and sweet guy doesn't do it for me... Hmm...

I remember writing in my high school journal, "I wonder if I'm...."  I couldn't write the word.  Lesbian didn't come naturally off my tongue - still doesn't ;) But lesbians do! ;) Oops.  Anyway.. it was a process.  In some ways, I didn't just wake up and be gay.  No, I was always gay.  But slowly, I realized, Hmm.....

I found certain sources, and did some reading, and things started to make some sense.  And the many times I've fallen head over heels for a beautiful woman since then, have given me the confirmation I needed.  And the many times I haven't fallen for wonderful men that I loved dearly as a friend, have also given me the confirmation I needed.

That's *my* story, and my experience.  Anyone who wants to guest blog and share their experience, feel free to e-mail me.  It is a confusing process, and sometimes it doesn't happen so early in life, and for some it happens even earlier.  My ex-wife came out in her late thirties after two marriages.  It takes a lot to be so self-aware, and to allow yourself to be you.

If you're reading this and wondering about yourself, it's okay to wonder.  Take your time, and take a look around to understand how you truly feel, what truly turns you on.  The answers are there, but you must be patient to hear them. 

Even though it's been a long time, I am a good listener.

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