Coming Out to Mickey

I came across this picture on Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook.  It really struck me because coming out is such a difficult thing.  I imagine the first person you do come out to shapes the process for many of us.

For me, it was my friend, Beth.  I was older (45) and was married with 2 teenage kids.  My marriage was good – my wife and I were very close and had a great partnership.  We were aligned in our goals for how to raise the kids, we shared all the responsibilities that goes with raising a family, we were the best of friends.  But I had finally worked though some tough issues and accepted what I had known at a deep level since I was very young.  I was gay.

I was still not comfortable with the idea, so telling someone else was really frightening.  We were on a hike together.  Beth had known I had been struggling with anxiety and depression – she had been an amazing support.  We walked and talked for a bit… just small talk.  The I just said, “I need to tell you something, and I’m scared.”  She replied, “Whatever you have to say, its ok.”  I said, “I’m gay”.  She didn’t even pause and said, “I imagine that feels both scary and freeing to say.”  I started to pour out all the mayhem it was going to cause in my life.  She stopped me and said, “That comes later, let’s talk about how good it must feel to be honest with yourself”.

I loved Beth before, but after that, she became one of the most important people in my life.

Who was the first person you told?  What was their reaction?



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