The following is a collection of short stories of how I came out to a few people over the course of four years. I haven’t fully come out of the closet just yet, nor do I have plans of doing so. I have never fully admitted to a family member that I am gay, although I’m sure that they have their suspicions. This is just a recollection of how some special and not-so-special people in my life reacted to my coming out.
Cam was my best friend in high school. We were both mentally unstable during our senior year, so I befriended him because having depression and anxiety myself, I knew how bad he could have felt fighting his battles. Ours was the sort of friendship that nobody but us knew about. One of my coping mechanisms at the time was to be an über bitch, so I had an entirely fake façade put up when I was in school. That fake façade included a fake set of cool friends, minions who were on call to attack a targeted victim when I felt like it. Cam wasn’t one of those people, neither a minion nor a victim. I let my guard down when we were together because he didn’t care about being popular. He cared about surviving high school without cracking from the pressure of doing well.
One summer night before college started, I had just finished watching a movie about a kid who killed himself because he was bullied for being gay. That kid’s mom later became an activist for LGBT youth. I didn’t want to be that kid. I didn’t want to contribute to the statistics for teens who commit suicide. But with the other shit that I was going through that time, wanting not to be a number just wasn’t enough to stop me from harming myself. I needed support, validation that being gay was okay.
I cryptically texted Cam, if you could ask me anything, what would you ask me? He was confused about my question but asked instead if I was going to watch the Manila leg of the Born This Way Ball. I (disappointedly) told him no, and to think deeper about what he would ask. He replied that he was stumped, so I just said these words to him: I like boys, to which he replied, That’s it? I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction. He was true to his word. He treated me no differently than when I was his sexually ambiguous friend. It’s just too bad that we don’t hang out any more, but that’s a different story.
Kate was my other best friend in high school. I’m not sure how we transitioned into being friends because I was a bitch to her when we first met. She became very close to a classmate that I had a crush on when we were freshmen, and that was enough of a reason to take her down. Anyway, I’m sure we became friends because of our open minds. She was one of the few people in my city who talked freely about sex. Being a pervert myself, I loved discussing the topic, and she was someone I could talk to. Sometimes, I would get carried away, and insert a few words borrowed from the local gay lingo, but she didn’t seem to mind. I guess it’s because most Filipinos, gay or straight, use gay lingo. We grew accustomed to talking like that, but never did she ask about my sexuality.
After coming out to Cam, I felt guilty for not telling Kate because our friendship was actually visible. I couldn’t figure out a way to tell her, but I definitely didn’t want to do it in person. Two weeks leading up to the day I would finally come out to her, I prepped her by sending her text messages written like Gossip Girl blasts, concentrated on me and my eccentric post-high school shenanigans. She didn’t mind at all that I texted her that way; she thought it was cool because I actually sounded like Gossip Girl.
I was sitting at the lone Starbucks in my hometown when I was contemplating on coming out to her. What made me go for it was wanting to talk to someone about the barista I was crushing on. Gulping my doppio in one go, I composed the Gossip Girl blast that announced to her that I was gay (and subsequently sent it). It went something like this:
They say the darkest secrets are always the ones that hit closest to home, and in this case, it hits a closet. When our Upper East Side prince’s door opens, out comes a queen, seeking a little more than friendship from a fellow prince. Happily ever after doesn’t discriminate when it comes to love, even when everyone else does.
Her reaction was calm, at best, exactly how I expected it to be after Cam’s. And that was it. We went on telling each other about our crushes, our non-existent love lives, and everything else that happened to us until she moved back to the States and never returned.
DUMB, UGLY BITCH
Dumb, ugly bitch was in my freshman block in college. At the beginning of the school year, she invited the block to have breakfast somewhere before heading to class. I went because I wanted to make friends, and disappointingly, only she and another girl showed up. I was immediately annoyed by her because she was so loud, and there was just so much about her to be annoyed at within the first ten minutes of meeting her. Eventually, she recruited more classmates into our friend group, so I had an excuse to start befriending other classmates I actually wanted to be friends with.
Sensing I was avoiding her, she told me that she wanted to talk to me about something. I could tell she was going to ask if I were gay, but I went and talked to her anyway because I wanted to get things over with and I was just done with her annoying self. At the back of our classroom, she asked me the question I was dreading to hear, and I just said, “yes, but I’m not ready to tell people that I am.” She had the audacity to ask me to explain what I meant by “I’m not ready to tell people that I am.” How stupid was she? There’s no simpler way to explain that you’re not ready to tell the world that you’re a guy who likes other guys, especially when you’re aware of how judgmental and cruel people can be towards homosexuality.
I made her promise not to tell anybody for obvious reasons, but the week that followed, she did everything that made me want to kill her. In our Filipino class, the professor asked the class if anybody was gay because we were about to have a lesson about homophobic language. Of course, dumb, ugly bitch shot me with a look that questioned why I didn’t raise my hand. At the end of that day, she texted me that I should tell another friend that I was gay. I asked her why, and she replied “because she’s a nice girl.”
I plotted her murder. I knew she had a severe food allergy, and I used that to my advantage. Unfortunately, she started eating lunch with other people because I actively avoided her. I stopped replying to her texts, telling her I didn’t receive them. She questioned that, as well, sending me a test message to make sure I was getting them. Because she couldn’t get that I didn’t want to hang out with her any more, I told her just that. She backed off, and now I have my peace.