Lauryn Hill said it best, "Fantasy is what people want, reality is what they need..."
For whatever reason, we all believe at some point it’s easier to hide in the closet. Life would somehow be simpler if we manufacture a life others would deem acceptable; straight. To live a life that doesn’t belong to you because your focus becomes hiding your authentic self (by masking who you were created to be) for the purpose of pleasing people that will always have criticism whether you’re gay or straight, isn’t living at all.
Coming out doesn’t require a bold statement to the world. It doesn’t mean flamboyance, and it doesn’t mean becoming less of a man. It means freedom to be who you are, as you are without care or concern for what others think. A friend of mine once told me coming out relieves the pressure from family asking when we’ll be married or have children (in the traditional sense). It gives the world a truer sense of who we are. When we conceal that piece of ourselves, we cut important people out in a way that they never truly know us. There’s something special about coming out and your mother accepting you. When your mother accepts you, you can live fearlessly against the world and what “people” think.
After I told my mom I was gay, I made a quick visit home to Maryland for a holiday, but I missed some of my family members on that visit. A few days after I returned to Atlanta I received a piece of mail from my aunt Coretha. I had no idea what she could be sending me. I had never received mail from her prior to that. It was a floral envelope with a matching piece of stationery. I had just walked through the door of my apartment. I was standing in the middle of the living room as I opened it, still pondering what she had to say to me in a letter. Seemed pretty formal, I remember thinking. “Why didn’t she just call?”
It was dated. It was simple and to the point. She said she tried to call to catch me before I made it back to “Hotlanta”. She continued with,
“We as a family love you, inspite of what some may not understand. To hell with the others.”
I smiled and said, “Wow…”
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