The first person I told was Hill. She is on the other side of the country finishing her masters. I had some "Thank You" cards and I decided-quite quickly-that I would write the card to her and tell her the "rest" about me. Now, Hill and I have a great past and some very extra-ordinary memories with each other. We spent a month on the road together, and for anybody that's been on long road trips, they know how much takes place. We became better friends than I could have imagined. Well, in the middle of studying for a final, I decided to write it cause I was in one of those really reflective and deep-pondering moods. When I started to write, it really felt like it was coming from deep inside me. It took me about 4 hours and a few times of putting my head down on the table to hide the tears, but I got it done and I was really happy with the outcome. I'll include the text of the letter later. I called her and asked her if I could share "that thing about me that I said I could never before have imagined sharing." I had told her that there was such a thing about me that I just couldn't imagine sharing with somebody. She said "yes," I said "why," she said "when," and I said "well, I wrote the letter and I'm putting it in the mail collection box right now." A couple of days later, I was really starting to wonder if I shouldn't call her up and ask her to not read the letter. I WAS TELLING HER THE I WAS ATTRACTED TO OTHER GUYS!!! It made me feel so gross. Well, in the middle of the day, I got a text from her that said "I love you Robert. More later." (I saved it on my phone.) I immediately knew that I had a true friend there. She called me and we talked forever (the good kind of forever). I remember her telling me that she took the letter and sat on the steps of her apartment in the sun and opened and read it. She said that the whole time she was reading it, she kept on thinking: "I love this boy." In the letter I said that I am still the same Robert that I've always been-I have the same dreams, goals, desires, and passions to do great and effective things...it's just that I'm trying to figure out how to allow myself to be a better me. She said that she totally saw that. Two other things that she said that meant the world to me were these: "I was really surprised at how little it shocked me," and "I still love you and everything I learn about you makes me love you more." Wow, what a good first coming out experience.
Then, a day later, I traveled up to Rexburg, ID to camp a night with Addie. Addie and I had a really interesting relationship in that so very much of our pasts were similar and because of that, we identified so well with each others experiences and feelings. When I got to Rexburg, Addie had another friend with her, and we chatted and had fun setting up camp and making the fire. As soon as the friend left, Addie and I gave each other a really good hug and started eating hot dogs...not exactly related events, but sequential. I really don't quite remember why I started-if there was some thing that kinda triggered me-but I just started to tell her what had had been happening over the last four weeks. I told it to her like it was a story, and in telling her about those four weeks, I had to include (for clarity purposes) some of the kinds of things that I had experienced that lead me to the situation preceding that fateful Monday night at the Matis'. I do remember that I couldn't look at her while I was talking and I had to say it all as if it was another me talking-one that, once started, wouldn't stop. It was my first time doing this in person. I knew that Addie was a specially understanding person and safe and non-judgemental, so I really believed that she wouldn't disengage our friendship because of this. To my great relief, she told me that she was grateful for me having confided in her and that she was honored that I felt such a way about her that I could do so. Addie told me that she hadn't ever learned anything about me or my past that hadn't made her love me more, and she said that this was no different. I told Addie that I will be a father and husband someday and that I know that Heavenly Father knows what's going on and that if I do what is right, I'll end up in the wonderful place that he's planned for me-even though and even perhaps because doing what's right is going to be so hard (I don't mean refraining from a homo relationship, rather, I mean the experience and process of dating and marrying a girl). Addie and I spent the whole next day enjoying each other's company and being glad to have spent the night together.
So, after a week or so of thinking about how good it everything had turned out, I thought that maybe it would be ok for my little sister (who lives in the same complex as me) to know...maybe then she wouldn't rag on me so hard for not being married. It's gotta be known how much she pushes this! Well, while were in the car driving, I asked her something, and it all went like this: "Do you love me?" "Of course I do, I love you sooo much." "Will you always love me, no matter anything?" "Yes!... What's going on?... Are you moving?... Did you start to date another girl?..." "No, no, hahaha. I was just wondering. So...do you really want to know why I never married Hill or Addie?" "Yes..." "Well...(now there were quite a few pauses here)sis...I don't know why...well...ever since I can remember...I've, well...I've been attracted to other guys and not girls." ...[silence]... Then my little sister BUSTS out laughing and saying "b__ s___! b__ s___! hahahaha!" and she just kept laughing hysterically, and not the nervous laugh, but for real laughing. I tried to say that I was serious and not joking, but she just thought it was funnier and funnier. So, finally, I said, "Haha, but I really had you going. Ha ha ha." Then she pulled out her phone and dialed up mom and dad and she told me that I had to play the same joke on them! Yeah, so that didn't go too well...I didn't play the "joke" on my parents and my sister still thinks I was being funny.
I guess, that'll just mean that I'm keeping it to the two close friends that I've told and be happy with that. Kind of a count your blessings thing. At least, that's the plan for the near and not-too-distant future. All in all, coming out was so good. I think it does two things. It helps you to understand that you're not as bad of a person as you came to believe yourself to be, and it allows you to honor your true friendships in that you include your friends and allow their help and love and support to lift you from being so far down. Hopefully, you find out that they still love you and think well of you in spite of this thing.