Thinking about my coming out story is always painful. It's always there, and no matter how many times I see some incredible story online or in a movie or in a book and try to rewrite my own story in my head, it never gets any better. It will always be a raw, hard memory. And it's taken me quite some time, and frankly some therapy, to be alright with that. And I guess that's not even it, I'm not "alright" with it, but there isn't anything I can do to change it or change the person my mother is, and I think that is the thing that has been the hardest for me to grasp throughout this whole process, that you can't change someone else, no matter how hard you try. The irony of that is sweet. That the reason my mother won't accept me is because she wants me to be something I'm not and in turn all I want is to ask her to be something she's not in accepting me. Regardless, I'm not going to go into a diatribe about how inexplicably horrific it is to hear that if you're gay you're not your mother's daughter and a whole slew of other equally horrific things, because others have been through worse. And in effect, I came out twice. Reminding her when I was 22 that this was who I was, the results weren't better, for those of you wondering.
But for me it's the every day since coming out, especially after the second time, that have been harder. That all that time I spent wanting to tell my mother and crafting the perfect way to explain who I was didn't matter. That the status quo has returned. That not talking about a part of me or acknowledging that part in every single phone call has been harder. Knowing I'm telling half truths or omitting the happiest and best parts of my life because it's easier than causing a fight or because it's easier than literally any other option. That's the thing that keeps me up at night. That it's a life half lived or rather that it's MY life half shared or half counted. This constant cloud of her eternal pressure of me that makes me feel worse than anything she's ever said. It's what she doesn't say, what I don't say, that eats me alive. Forced back into the closet time and time again.
I shared this portion of it because it's so internal, and yes maybe it doesn't seem like much, but I think it's important to remember that being gay no matter what that it's hard and it's every day and fighting to be who you are no matter the internal or external pressure. You're all you have, no matter how cliche it sounds. No matter how broken and closed off and laconic and unsure you become. We have a vocal and outspoken and wonderful community and we need it more and more every day. But sometimes the things that are the hardest to handle are the small things we don't see or tell or even know.
Don't ever feel like your alone there. Everyone wages their own personal war. And we all have to. Every day. I was lucky enough to find the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. And will my family ever be alright with that, with the best part of my life? We'll have to see, but I won't ever let her go. I promise to fight for her and for me. Always.