|Posted February 15, 2012|
A Coming Out Story by Altimexis
Today was going to be the day. Today I was gonna do it. Today I wasn’t gonna chicken out. For years I’d been struggling with this thing hanging over me, feeling like the weight of the world was resting on my shoulders, crushing me. For a long time I tried to ignore it and I even pretended to be something I’m not, but that only caused more frustration in the end.
But now I had Chris. Chris made all the difference. Chris changed everything. Chris gave me courage and strength. Chris made me realize just how foolish I’d been. But sooner or later, Dad would hear about my relationship with Chris and he’d probably freak. Much as I love Chris, I don’t want to lose Dad. Since the divorce three years ago, it’s been just me and Dad. He’s all I’ve got and I’m all he’s got. No, I gotta tell him now, before he finds out from someone else.
I know it’ll be a major disappointment to him to learn I’m different. No one ever expects their child to turn out that way, you know? It shouldn’t matter, but it does. I can only hope Dad’ll be accepting... and that he’ll still love me.
My heart started to race as I heard the sound of the garage door opening. Never before had the squeaks and groans of the door sliding up its track seemed so loud and grating. I could hear the sound of the engine as Dad drove his car into the garage and then shut if off. Once again, the garage door squeaked and groaned as it closed. With each sound, as each second ticked by, my anxiety grew exponentially. I could feel myself sweating all over. I was on the verge of a full-fledged panic attack, but I had to hold it together. I had to stay calm. If I froze up, I’d never do it. I’d never tell him. Now was the time. Now was the moment.
The sound of Dad slamming the car door shut was like an explosion. Each footstep he made in the garage echoed through my head like the sound of a gunshot. Finally the door knob turned and the door opened, revealing the man I’d known and loved all my life - my dad.
“Hey Sport,” Dad called out as he entered the house, but then he froze in his tracks and asked, “Is everything OK?”
“Y-y-y-eah,” I replied, not all that convincingly. Even I could tell something was amiss.
Chuckling, Dad said, “Let me hang up my coat and put away my stuff, and then we’ll talk about it.”
Again the seconds and minutes seemed to crawl by as I heard the sounds of doors opening and closing, a toilet flushing and water running. Even the clock on the kitchen wall seemed to bang at me as the second hand moved forward, one second at a time. Sounds I never took note of before were thunderously apparent to me now.
At last, Dad returned to the family room and said, “Why don’t you take a seat and we’ll talk about whatever it is that’s on your mind.” I hadn’t even realized I’d been standing all this time!
As I plopped down onto the sofa but kept my feet planted solidly on the floor, Dad sat himself down next to me. Squeezing my shoulder gently and looking at me with his kind, warm eyes, he smiled and asked, “Now what is it that’s got you wound up so tight?”
“I don’t know…” I started to say. “It’s just that… I dunno.” I so didn’t want to cry. I wasn’t gonna cry, but I couldn’t help myself.
Dad pulled me into his strong arms as he soothingly said, “Don’t worry, Sport. Whatever it is, no matter how bad it may seem, we’ll get through this. We’ll get through it together.”
“But you’re gonna hate me,” I replied.
“I could never hate you,” he replied as he continued to hug me, rubbing my back soothingly with his large hands. “You’re my life. You mean everything to me.”
“Maybe you should wait to hear what it is I have to say,” I glumly suggested.
“OK, Champ,” he responded. Man, I was getting way to old to be called ‘Champ’ but that was another conversation for another time. “But there’s nothing you could have done that would make me abandon you,” he continued. “I might have trouble with it if you molested a kid, but I'd stay with you through to the end.”
“Dad,” I replied, “you know me better than that. I could never hurt a kid like that. Never, ever.”
“I didn’t say you could, and I didn’t think you would,” he responded. “I was just saying that as a kind of worst case example. I’m sure it’s something much more mundane, but no less serious to you. Look, even if this is about pregnancy,” he continued, “although I think you’re too young to be having sex and probably still will, even when you’re thirty, I’ll be with you all the way, one hundred percent.”
My tears subsided and I actually got a smile on my face as I said, “It wouldn’t matter to you if I had a kid?”
“Of course it would matter,” he replied. “Being a parent takes a lot of responsibility… responsibility that most adults, let alone teenagers, don’t really have. At your young age it would be irresponsible and, like I said, I think you’re still too young to be dealing with the complexities that having sex adds to the strain of a relationship. Nevertheless, if that’s what this is about, I’ll support you and help you, and love you no less than I already do.”
“So you wouldn’t care if I dated girls?” I asked hopefully.
“Why in the world would I care if you dated girls, Gary?” Dad answered. “Unless you’re gay, you’re supposed to date girls. Liking girls is normal for the vast majority of teenage boys.”
“But I thought you’d want me to be gay,” I responded. “After all, you are.”
“Honey,” he began. Didn’t he realize I’m way too old to be called ‘Honey’? “I want you to be the person you were meant to be.”
“But you always said it was a mistake to have dated girls.”
“That’s because I was trying to be something I’m not,” he replied. “I was trying to be straight. I was pretending, and only deluding myself in the end. But even still it gave me something special I could never replace. It gave me you.
“Gary,” he went on, “being gay is tough but, if you did turn out to be gay, I would support you completely. Frankly I’d rather you weren’t gay, not because I don’t want you to be gay, but because I don’t want you to have to go through what I went through. I always knew the chances were far greater you would be straight, but that isn’t what’s important to me. What matters is that you be who you’re meant to be and not who you think I want you to be.”
Throwing my arms around him, I said, “Thanks, Dad. You’re the greatest.”
With a chuckle, Dad responded, “I’ll remind you of that the next time we get into a fight over something,” and then he asked, “Now is there anyone special in your life you’d like to tell me about?”
My face felt like it was on fire as I told him, “I can’t wait for you to meet Christine…”
The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing and Low Flyer in proofreading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Nifty for hosting them.