Before today, I have came out to a very small number of people, who are not immediately part of the circle of friends I hang out with on a regular basis.
Coming out has never been a big deal to me. I am not undermining the amount of challenges, barriers and courage that many of you have been through in order to be fully comfortable with your sexuality and hence, who you are. Just very personally, my sexuality has never stopped me from living my life to the fullest albeit not out of the closet. I really believe that your sexuality should not be your identity or your life, but merely just a part of who you are, much like your favourite band for example. However, this can be a very personal thing, and for some, sexuality is the primary inhibition to them living their life.
To say that I have not struggle with my sexuality would be a lie. They come in periods and there were at least 3-4 times in the last 6-7 years that I disliked myself for my sexuality, especially during my teens when I lack the confidence, a sense of identity and I was struggling with my perception of the world.
My story would not be much different than many of you. I wished I wasn't at least bisexual. I wished I could ignore that side of me and I had, and I wished that people around me would fully accept my sexuality and be comfortable with it.
A series of events, this blog and you, the readers really encouraged the thought of coming out to my friends. The starting point was the hardest, as with every other thing in our life but I knew I had to start somewhere.
My starting point was purely accidental. I met ranga boy - who is probably reading this! Long story short, he was performing, I watched his performance, found his contact online and we exchanged emails. Several emails later, we decided to hang out before he leaves the country. After several beers, he brought up the topic of my sexuality, which I did not deny. I wasn't afraid of him knowing since he was a stranger and he was leaving the country at that time.
At the same time, I have this blog going and in my real life, very slowly, I found out more and more people around me were gay. One of them is a guy I look up to because he's very talented at what he does. I never knew he was gay and its not something he tells anyone. I found out when I met his partner at a friend's birthday party. He's been going out with his partner for more than 5 years and meeting them was a reassurance to me that I don't have to openly gay to have a partner and be happy.
The process of figuring out what coming out means to me, personally, started and I became more comfortable with the idea and it became something that I had to do, not something I have a choice to do. I have to admit, it wasn't a big deal to me. The big deal was choosing the people I want to come out to that was challenging, and waiting for the right time for me.
So I started off by telling a friend who I spent Christmas with. He is in a relationship of 6 years (I think) with his boyfriend, and I was about to spend time with his family. I knew him through the organisation I volunteer with, and he lives in a different state at least 3 hours away so I felt safe telling him. He reacted absolutely fine - well, d'oh, he's gay. That felt liberating and I was almost convinced I could fly out of the closet but that is, of course, a deception many people fall into.
Over the next few weeks, I took everything slowly. I felt comfortable enough to tell two of my colleagues who I had coffee with every single morning and sometimes afternoon. And that I did, seperately. My Admin Asst had tears in her eyes and she was more than happy for me. The other colleague, Personal Asst to the Director, was a bit less dramatic. She only responded with a, "So?" which made me laughed.
Then, circumstances change. I met a few people who I will write about someday, and it prompted me to think about my close friends. My immediate circle of friends whom I hang out with on an almost daily basis and share everything with.
So, today, out of exhaustion, I called Lis who was more interested in discussing with me about how we go about splitting the money we've earned from our company. (Note: I started an organisation with two close friends and Lis is one of them.) She also told me a number of events I had to attend over the coming week, and before she hung up, I told her I had to tell her something and its not something to worry about. And out came the words, "I'm at least bisexual". I explained my struggle, my acceptance and my coming out process to her as would most of us. She was more than accepting, and replied with a, "I know I am probably expected to be excited or show more emotions over this but honestly, I've got too many gay friends and even though I never thought you were, now that I know, it doesn't really make much of a difference to me. My immediate thought when you told me that was a, "WOW" and the next thought was, "So, what?""
Aah. I then came out to another good friend of mine. He's the guy I described above as someone I really admired for his talent, and he shares very much the similar circumstances to me, thus was able to provide me with some of his own experiences that I found highly relevant.
My next step is to tell Kim, my other business partner and one of my closest friends. She's left for the US this morning, after a leaving me her car and called me before her flight. I don't have plans to come out any further, except for the housemates - which I would only do so when the need arises. I am sure they wouldn't mind. They've been my closest friends - Canadian Boy has traveled with me and stayed in my home in Borneo for 2 weeks, his girlfriend cooks for me, gives me massages and drives me to uni when she can. My other housemate is the toughest one - for some reason, he is convinced that I have a girlfriend, but I don't dare to bring her home.
Coming out, or I would say, opening the closet door, is not a big deal to me. Nothing much would change, except I can ogle at cute guys with some of them, but I have to admit its not something I am comfortable doing.
I opened the closet door and took a peek at the world, and it is not that much different.
Writing this post has been difficult, because I am worried that some of you might feel isolated, jealous or terrible because under some circumstances, you cannot come out to anyone. If you are one of them, I want you to know that my thoughts are with you and I do think about you. If this post has brought up some thoughts or emotions you'd like to share privately, please do not hesitate to send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out this factsheet.
Shout out to Bold, whom many of you should already know, if not, then you should head over and know him. I think he's pretty damn cool, well, until he stopped MSN-ing. *click here*