The hardest part of coming out for me was The P’s. I knew their love was unconditional, but the thing I struggled over was how was this going to affect their lives. What would their friends think? Or the neighbors? Or the checker at Scolaris? What would they say to The P's?

Despite my Mormon beliefs and the laws of the Navy, when I stepped out of the closet, it was like I was wearing a “We’re Here. We’re Queer. Get Used To It.” T-shirt. Tired—I know, but it was in the ‘80’s.

Even though I didn’t care if the World knew I was a great Big Gay, I knew the decision affected not only me, but the people close to me, as well. And the people close to them. When I dropped my bomb, it was going to make a lot of ripples in the pond.

Cue Ethel Merman, arms out.

Ethel: I got to be MEEEEE!!

I stepped out of another closet and told my The P's I was a big ol' Gay. They gave me the first of many "Sure. Why Not?" looks I've come to love so much. Two stories from the process:

QP: Was it something I did?

Why is it that every Mother of a Gay son asks that question? Do they ask it to their Dyke daughters? Or is it just something Mothers say, like, “Keep doing that and your face will freeze”?

No. it was not you.
But you did have an affect on me.You're a role model for me.

KP: If one of my friends came up to me and said my something bad about you being gay, I’d punch him in the mouth.

Cool! Is my KP the coolest, or what? Sure, I’m generally a pacifist, but this is Reno, and it’s live and let live here, so, Cowboy, wail away!

My family makes me feel so loved, I feel very comfortable being a Big Gay around them. Maybe, a bit too comfortable. It’s hard for me to know how to act in Reno, my family's home. The way I want, or the way I think others want me to? Could I pass as Straight? Or at least, Bisexual? Frankly, I don't think I'm that good an actor, but you know who is?

Cue Miss Merman.

So, my family have no issues with me about being a Big Gay. It's all about the other Renoites. I have one more closet to come out of.

In SFO you have no idea how much RNO talks about The Gays. And, The P's are social animals. They hear a lot of things. When someone says an outrageous lie, The P's will try to inject logical thought into the conversation. And sometimes, someone will respond with, “I’m not homophobic. I’m not afraid of Gays, I just hate them”.

I wish it could happen to me. Here would be the scenario:

Renoite: I’m not homophobic. I’m not afraid of Gays, I just hate them.

Me: Then why not just say, “I hate Gays?” You are correct. Dictionary dot com defines “phobic” as “A strong fear, dislike, or aversion”. You should just say “I hate Gays.”

Renoite: …….

Me: You know, Gays love Jesus, too.

Renoite: ………………………………………..

Cue Ethel Merman!

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