“Eventually, you’ll move along, leaving me to live my life with an empty space.” I wrote these lyrics in 2008. I was gay, and had one foot in the closet – that means I’d only told one person out loud. I thought I was being so obvious at times, how could anyone not know, least of all you. I guess I was just so wrapped up in my own insecurities that I didn’t stop and take stock of the situation, and calmly tell you everything. Now, when I finally am – and finally sharing everything with the world, none of it matters.
I left school in 2004, a few weeks after I’d turned 18. I remember having a huge argument with a classmate once – couldn’t tell you how it started, or what it was truly about, but I vividly remember yelling at her that she didn’t understand – this was it for me. I wasn’t taking A Levels to get a qualification that looked good on my CV and helped me in the real world, I was taking them because school, at that point, was all I knew. “This is all I’ll ever have.” I shouted. This was the closest to a normal life that I would ever have. I walked out of the classroom to take some deep breaths outside in the fresh air to calm myself down. I’m allergic to sunlight, so that shows you how emotional I was – that I would go outside during the middle of the afternoon just to stand and breathe. I later cried in the arms of a friend. Crying because I couldn’t say the words that explained what I was going through. It had never dawned on me until that moment that it would all be over soon. Life was changing, and I didn’t know my place in the world. I was lost.
And then, I found him – my online friend. One solitary being who was so attuned to my every thought and inner feeling that, before I knew it, I’d fallen hard. I was so blind in love that I didn’t even see it until it was too late. It scared me. He was completely unattainable. Lived in a different city, born in a different decade. I had zero confidence and self assurance, but he changed me. I knew if I ever dared to dream of a moment with him, I needed to change all of that and learn how to live in the real world. A normal life, independent and capable. Before I could ever say those three words to him, I needed to first say those other three words to someone else…
25th April 2007
He said something really reassuring to me; it’s not the fact I came out that’s a big deal (hold on, we’ll get to that), but it’s the fact I managed to see my way through the, as I called it, cloudiness and realise I’m gay considerable quick.
It all started on Friday – well, it didn’t all start on Friday, but that’s when this chapter started. Me and him had, what we refer to as, “The Big Talk” last year and ever since then I’ve felt that if I were to come out to anyone it would be him.
When he visited me at hospital on Friday, I started what I’ll refer to now as “Coming Out” (clever, huh). As you’ve read, I’ve wanted to tell him since last year, and the fact that only four months later I’m now out to him shows just how accepting of myself I’ve become. So, when I saw him on Friday, I told him how I’d reconnected with my old friends from 6th Form. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when they visited. A big part of me felt that I hadn’t seen them for so long, I wasn’t even sure if we’d still click like we used to. Well, we did, but something had definitely changed – it was me. I didn’t tell them, but I certainly didn’t hide anything. When me and “J” were exchanging witty banter (like the mature twentysomethings we are), she said that the male TV presenter was more my type than hers, and I agreed. Even something like that would have been unimaginable a few months ago.
So, when I started coming out on Friday, I side-stepped telling him and decided to focus only on the friends issue. Once I’d got as far as I could without fringing upon the no-going-back territory, I told him I was coming in for three consecutive days next week and would really like a game of Scrabble and a talk during this time. He came over on Tuesday and we picked up our game of Scrabble from a few months ago. All throughout, it was on my mind. Towards the end I noticed he would have to go soon. I hadn’t even begun to hint at what I really wanted to talk to him about. I told him I couldn’t decide if we should continue playing Scrabble or have a talk instead. He told me we should talk.
I hesitated, and backed out, but earlier that day I had written a song/poem about some of my feelings. I gave it to him and told him, if he read it, it would give me an incentive to talk on Wednesday. I regretted not telling him, but to be honest, I just didn’t feel like there was enough time or privacy.
Wednesday morning came around and I woke up with a feeling that today was the day I was finally going to come out – if only the world would have realised that too, maybe I could have done it a little earlier.
I almost didn’t. I mean, technically I shouldn’t have. I was put in a shared room for my treatment and when I finally got the room to myself, I used the last of my battery power to send him a text which said “raincheck” – only he didn’t read it, and I didn’t phone my stepdad to come pick me up early. He came over and that was that – I was about to come out to him.
I started tidying up, fluffing pillows, my heartbeat got very fast! Luckily, as I’d planned, my song/poem was a good starting point. When he asked what I was trying to say communicate in the song/poem, I slowly began, “I…”
I closed my eyes and rested my head in my hands. I couldn’t hear anything; I couldn’t see anything; I couldn’t say anything. I began to flash through all the recent events in my life, summing everything up into this one defining moment. After what felt to me like 6 minutes, I pulled my hands apart, opened my eyes and finished the sentence, “…am Gay.”
And that is how I came out. We talked – boy, did we talk! My throat was so dry by the end of it. But once, as I called it, pulled out the stopper, everything came gushing out. And he, as I knew he would, was perfect. He couldn’t have been more perfect. Everything that I had never dared speak before suddenly came passing through my lips and out into the world for everyone to see. So what only one person saw, that doesn’t mean only one person ever will. It’s going to be long, and it’s going to be very hard, but it’s also going to be very interesting. He asked me if I’m happy and I told him I was… because that’s the truth.
Everybody’s still into nostalgia. I have many unpublished posts from 2007. One shall be coming in a few days, but here’s a short one from eight years ago. Once again, it details with my unrequited love for an online friend.
14th April 2009
I’m still unmoved, not that I expected much to change, but I’m just rather afraid of losing the one good thing in my life despite being stuck in the crappy subtext of smiles and characters, driving me to the point of insanity.
I have four infections at the moment. FOUR! If I really do believe in that whole “it’s me who’s causing it” deal then I am beating myself up at the moment, apparently. But coming out would not solve anything.
It would only create new dilemmas, I’m certain of it. Don’t say you don’t know until you try it, because there’s no way you can put it out there without taking it back.
It will be this year, that of which I’m certain. I don’t know when, and I don’t know how; I don’t really even know why, but I’m telling her I’m gay.
It was two years ago this week I came out to him. Did I love him back then? I think so, I was so enthralled in my own personal turmoil that I probably didn’t recognise it was love. I was so nervous he wouldn’t accept me – even though I thought he knew! Why did I think he knew? That must have been odd for the both of us.
I tried hinting to him yesterday – told him I’d rather leave him voicemail messages than type, due to my poor aching hands. But not even a shred of consideration. If he asked me, I’d say yes in a heartbeat.
I guess that sort of tells me everything I need to know really.
How long do I have left here? Why do I insist on putting myself through these trials? Perhaps it’s to prove to myself that despite my illness, I am human, not unchanged. I go through all the things these regular humans go through.
He asked me how I coped. I told him something rather modest I can’t remember now, but really, he’s how I cope.
I often think about the cogs that have to turn in order for events in the universe to be set in motion. I believe in signs, and I used to think signs were pointing to you, but now I can’t help but wonder if whenever I recognise a sign that it’s actually to warn me.
To remind me of what came before; to remind me he’s a different person now. And so am I, and maybe the people we are now were never meant to know each other, let alone love each other. Most of us take a little time developing, and you should never assume that who a person is when they’re 16 or 22 will be the same person when they’re ten years older.
We aren’t born into this world a fully formed human being, and it’s all very well and fine if you are one of the few who found The One when they were 12 and has loved them unconditionally. It sounds romantic, and darling, and precious, but the harsh truth is it’s a fairytale drilled into us from a very young age that is wholly unrealistic and should be quashed at the first chance.
It’s not bitter.
It’s not cynical.
It’s not depressing.
It’s reality, and it’s adult life.
There’s a boy I knew, he’s the one I dreamed of.
Sound familiar? I mean, it happens to all of us! It’s only now looking back, I can see there were a catalyst of personal issues and events that lead me to feel this way about a boy. He wasn’t The One, he was just what my brain needed to survive at that moment in time. To keep on being able to tell myself that I had a reason and a purpose, because everything in my life was telling me otherwise.
I had been stuck in hospital-limbo for nearly three years – transitioning from paediatrics to, basically, the place where no one gives a shit. I had my transfusions in a dark room on my own where I would sit and be left to amuse myself for 6+ hours. If it wasn’t for my dad getting a job there, I may not have had meaningful human interactions at all. I’m making it sounds worse than it is, but honestly, when I finally ended my transition and found a competent doctor and was allowed to carry out my treatment on a special unit, that’s when I realised what I dark place I had been in.
During this time, I only had one person I could really turn to, but I couldn’t even tell him about the way I felt, so I wrote it down in a diary that I kept password protected. Here’s an entry I wrote on this very day, 8 years ago:
28th February 2009
Why is it that being gay is so not gay? It’s not that I envy the alternative or feel like I’m missing out on something by living with myself as I am. But I don’t get why homosexuality got given this pet name that means full of light-heartedness and merriment. I kinda see why the “nu-generation” did a complete three-sixty on that definition. In my books, it makes a lot of sense.
Gay is another synonym for shit.
They don’t have the same rights, they get treated differently, they have to actually come out and declare their sexuality and, I have very little reference from the other side, but getting a date is fucking hard!
That’s weird… I just realised I didn’t identify myself with them until the last part. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been treated differently because of my sexuality. It’s a little hard to be treated differently for something you don’t publicly identify yourself as! But I can draw reference from my disability. As for rights… I’m not passionate about politics. The world confuses me enough without bringing the Government into it. But maybe the real reason I didn’t identify with those first two points is because I have no jumping-off point for them and won’t do until… if… *slits throat* I have a “gay experience”.
I’ve never had one! Who the fuck would I have one with? My closet’s so confined I feel like I’m in a Japanese subway train, except instead of people there’s issues… sooooo many fucking issues.
I only want him. It’s true. The problem is I’m never going to have him. He’s there, I’m here – end of. And if… IF he ever, by the grace of God, actually ever makes it over here I know EXACTLY what will happen… just because I’ve swapped teams from my childhood, I can bet you it does not change any of the same old tired excuses.
I was being far too mellow-dramatic in my last post. I can survive without him. I have this weird feeling in some aspects I might even survive better. I wouldn’t have this nagging urge to stay home and socialise on my computer… but it’s not a nag. It’s a gift. I can turn to him whenever I want and he’s there. I have a better relationship with him than I do with my own family. In fact, I’m quite hostile to my family a lot of the times. It’s not their fault, it’s mine. I’m the one with the problem; I just can’t deal with it.
Why is being gay… so gay?
I remember being alone in that dark room having my hospital treatment, listening to music on my iPhone. A song came on shuffle: Nicest Thing, by Kate Nash. It’s not an especially sad song, or even a very good song – but at that moment, it was exactly what my brain needed. I needed to let out my feelings, to cry. So I thought of my nicest thing, and it made me cry.