Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day:
National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Timely enough, I was recently asked by Calvin:
Erik, you may have already talked about this in another post and if so, please excuse the question. I know that your parents haven’t come to terms yet with you being gay, but how do your siblings act around you? Are they fully accepting of the fact that you’re gay or do they feel as your parents do?
I briefly touched on my coming out to my siblings back in September 2011, but I’ll expand upon that here.
The first person I came out to in my family was Oldest Younger Brother. Somewhere between 1999 and 2000, he came to visit me in Arkansas. The Husbear and I were living together and had been since 1997. I was scared as Hell to tell him, but knew I needed to for my own sanity and mental health, and he was sort of my “testing ground” to gauge how the family would react. So Oldest Younger Brother and I went for a drive. And nervously I told him.
He took it surprisingly well. Add to that the fact I called the Husbear “hon” in front of him before that probably clued him in a little. He and his wife treat us well to this day. But we have never spoken directly about the who, where, what, and why of my being gay.
I told Sister in writing at the same time as I told my parents in August 2001, which occurred after I told Oldest Younger Brother. She never responded to the letter, nor have we ever spoken of it directly. To her credit, she does ask about the Husbear and myself when we talk, and she treats us well the couple times we have seen her in person. The Husbear even did her hair for her wedding back in 2005. 😉
As for Youngest Younger Brother, I have never told him directly that I was gay. I’m fairly certain the rest of the immediate family has done that for me. But he also treats the Husbear and I pleasantly when we talk or see him.
So does this mean I’m out to my siblings? I personally would say I am. Being gay really isn’t something that comes up in conversation with them. I don’t hide the fact that the Husbear and I are a couple to them, and have been so for over 15 years. When we are in Florida, we visit them together (except for that one time). If they had questions, I’d answer them. Just like I answer all the questions they ask about me being a tattooist. Or when I did computer work. As long as they are respectful to me, my beliefs, and those around me, I’ll extend that same courtesy to them.
Which is really how the world should work.
Until next time...