I grew up in a home where anything related to coming out was met with a sneer. “Why do they have to force their sexual depravity on us?” was a common refrain in discussions. From the time that I began actually dealing with the fact that my sexual attractions and my experience of the world just didn’t fit the narrative which my friends and relatives seemed all-too-comfortable in, I weighed the options of coming out.
For years, I refused. My freshman year of college, I was asked point-blank by a friend in marching band: “Are you gay?” I told him no. I had reasons, of course. Being a conservative Christian, I reasoned that I wasn’t actually gay because I wasn’t sleeping with men. I was same-sex attracted and was attempting to be free from the curse thereof through prayer, accountability, and just plain perseverance.
There is nothing at all wrong with any of those three things. It was, for me, a misguided attempt to grapple with reality as I found it.
But was he asking about my sexual practices? No, probably not right then. He was likely only asking if I liked dudes. And so, I was lying. He probably doesn’t even remember the conversation, but that lie has weighed on me much more heavily than the lies I later told my parents.Continue reading