Monday, July 2, 2012

Sorry, Ladies

Anderson Cooper “officially” came out today. There have definitely been rumors of him being gay for as long as I’ve known about him and he hasn’t said anything to confirm or deny it- until now.

I can relate to that. When someone would ask me if I were gay, I would deflect the question and change the subject or just flat out deny it. It was easier that way because they were asked so confrontationally and mockingly. How can I explain to others that part of me which I didn’t understand myself?

I still don’t, which is my fault. For one thing, I’ve tried not to think about it because maybe that way it wouldn’t be an issue. Look how well that turned out! I justified this repression by saying it wasn’t anyone’s business yet the more I ignored it the more of an issue it became- at least, for me

I also thought that there’d be this magical handbook that would help me navigate this new landscape I’ve found myself in. Even if there was, I doubt it would have helped me much since apparently I have the tendency to get lost!

“I will live the most authentic and best life possible that is honest and respectful of myself and others.” That may seem familiar to some of the readers of this blog since I’ve shared it before as one of my core goals to base my actions on. Maybe I just wanted another item to check off my Life List but I figured it was time to just be proactive about it and address the fact that I am a gay male so I can focus on that and other things.

I am gay. That may be the least surprising news you’ll ever hear in your life but I am. One of the things that worried me about coming out was suddenly people will think differently of me, that they’ll have me figured out based on stereotypes and clichés of what gay means to them. There may have been signs- um, hello, my Mariah Carey collection- but I don’t think it’s fair to lump people into a category based on things like that. I’ll admit I do that too, which probably made it even harder for me to come to terms with this part of me. Growing up, the majority of what I saw in the media were gay guys who were flamboyant and liked to wear women’s clothes. While that’s fine for them, it’s not who I am.

Straight people don’t go declaring their heterosexuality so I probably didn’t have to write this post. But it was necessary and important for me to do so. I still don’t have any more answers than I did before. I’m still not comfortable talking about this in public, in person. It is at least a step in the right direction towards that “most authentic and best life possible” I envision for myself- and others.

1 comment:

Chad Helder said...

That's a wonderful and inspiring post, Earl! Congratulations!