LGBTQ 30 Day Challenge: Day 4

14 06 2011

Day 4:The first person you came out to and that story.

Ok, so maybe this will be over-sharing because I’m gonna tell the story of the 1st 3 times I came out. They were all fairly far apart and all incredibly memorable, so I figure what the hell.

The first person I came out to was my manager at the first vet clinic I worked at. This would have been the summer of ‘04, right after I graduated high school. My boss, Amy, was a lesbian. She and her girlfriend, Lara, had been together for 5 years at that point and, as far as I can remember, were the first openly gay people I had ever met. Sure, there were a couple people in high school that everyone assumed were gay (and I often knew because of connections), but that was it. Amy lived her life out and proud. She didn’t pretend to be some femme she wasn’t and talked about Lara like it was no big deal. It floored me. The mere thought that anyone else would know that I was gay made me want to vomit, let alone not caring.

Anyway, so one Saturday afternoon when the clinic was closed and we were there for caretaking, I was carrying a small dog in from one of the outdoor yards, with its sibling in tow and 125 lbs. Doberman Pinscher lunged at the door to the run it was in and the dog in my arms flipped out. My left pinky was in throbbing insanely and as I looked, my nail was split in half lengthwise. I got the dog back in its run and went to find a bandage. I put a bandage on my finger in the treatment area and turned around to see blood all over the floor. Keep in mind, this was a 5000 sq. ft. facility and I had just traipsed all the way across it. I was feeling a little flush and I noticed my neck felt weird. I reached up and I was covered in blood. My hand was hurting so badly, I didn’t realize the dog had also ripped open my neck. Not too deep, but wounds about the shoulders tend to bleed like a bitch. About that time, my manager comes rushing out of the kennel, having seen all the blood, and rushes me to the minor med.

She kept asking me if I was ok, trying to keep me talking. We got to the minor med and several co-workers were there waiting. Apparently this wound looked horrible. They later said the only reason we didn’t go to the human ER was because it was so far away. They were really freaked out. At some point, I started asking Amy questions about life and other stuff, I guess I was a bit freaked out myself. And I blurted out, “I think I’m gay.” She gave me a hug and we just talked. She told me that I would go off to college, come out, and be happy. I told her, “fat chance.” But Amy was right, as she was on so many things. I wish I could find her and tell her how much she changed my life. She impacted me more than she could possibly ever know.

Ok, the other 2 are a bit shorter and kinda funny. Now. Not at the time. But now. When I was 18, near the end of my freshman year of college at the University of Tennessee in the Spring of ‘05. At this point, I had never voiced my gayness to another soul, save Amy. And even that was an equivocation with the whole, “I think.” So, I’m sitting in my dorm room with my best friend and I couldn’t get the nerve to start the conversation. I had just found out that he was bisexual a month or so before, but that didn’t seem to make anything any easier. So, I IM’d him. He was sitting at his computer, no farther than 3 feet away. This was our conversation:

Me: “Guess what?”

Him: “What?”

Me: “Guess.”

Him: “No clue. What?”

Me: “I am.”

Him: “What?” “Like me?”

Me: “No, all the way.”

Him: “Ok.”

At that point, we began actually talking and I kinda had a freak out moment and then felt so much better. That feels like a million years ago.

The last little story is about another very close friend of mine, a straight guy, that had made jokes about me coming out for at least a couple years. This would have been the summer fo ‘06. I just couldn’t do it. Finally, one day at lunch with him and my best friend, he made the joke, I said, “Fine. I am.” Got up and walked out of the diner we were in. He chased me out into the parking lot where, yet again, I was having a minor freak out, ran up to me, and gave me the biggest hug ever. He said, “I’m sorry. And it’s ok.” And that was it. We’re still incredibly close to this day and I couldn’t love him more.

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