Sometimes when I send someone an email, google takes part of the paragraph and places it at the bottom of the email. Almost like a quote from a book, to give you an idea of what's inside. It's a little unsettling at times but it gave me today's title. I will get to the title later but first the lunch with my school friend.
I was finally able to have lunch last week with my old classmate. I was going to tell him about me being gay but something happened that caused me to decide to wait for another time. When I posted about him being successful, many of you replied that maybe he had issues I don't know about. He didn't have an easy life to be honest and that's why I'm all the more impressed.
The reason for my meeting was that he lost an older sibling to a horrific and senseless accident. He had two siblings much older than him and due to family tragedy when he was little, he viewed them almost asparents. When I sat down with him, I let him drive the conversation, I didn't know if he wanted to talk about it or talk about something completely different.
When he started to explain how he realized that the person killed on the news, was his family member, he began to tear up and get emotional. That's when I realized that this lunch should be all about him and that me expecting a big coming out moment was selfish on my part. I decided then to not tell him, I would do it another day.
We started talking about other things, he asked about my parents. We talked a lot, there was much catching up to do. He asked about my sister, I told him she is doing really well on all levels and that.. no.. she's not married with children, she has a partner and they have been together almost thirty years. He said, "ah that's wonderful"! Then he started saying things like, it must have been hard growing up gay in our area for her, the constant torture with slurs and sick jokes, he felt that it must damage a person to have to grow up like that, he was wondering how she could just try to ignore it, he was saying, "remember how bad it was with everyone always saying "fag fag fag" or "that's gay", he was already getting everything that I wanted to explain to him.
I just heard this voice saying, "oh my gawd, this is it, this is your moment, now's the time, go ahead do it". I wanted to do it in a casual way but I started to have a meltdown. I started to choke on my words and my eyes watered. He suddenly became quiet and I said, "sometimes when someone is gay, it's very common for them to have a gay brother or sister as well". He sat back taking in what I was saying. I said, "I am too, I'm gay".
He asked how long have I know, I told him most of my life, he was surprised by that answer. I asked him if he knew or suspected. He said no but that it did pop into his mind sometimes because I had all the qualities that he admires about gay people. I asked what he meant and he said because I'm thoughtful, respectful, introspective, selfless and because I like to see the bigger picture in life. He said growing up that some of his more interesting conversations were with me. We talked a lot, I said that I feel after all these years, I'm finally letting him meet the real me.
Then we laughed and joked and laughed and joked and had a great afternoon together. When we were in the parking lot about to leave, I went to shake his hand, he said, "nooo, I want a hug out of this" I gave him the hug I've wanted to give him all my life. When the embrace was over he looked at me in a serious way and said, "I am truly... so sorry for making you feel that you couldn't tell me, I know you keep saying it's okay but it's not and I want you to know that". I felt like I had just been given a huge injection of happy. Many times I have had daydreams where he said something like that... and here it was actually happening.
My coming out to him was everything I ever wished for all my life.. and more. I drove away thinking, don't cry, don't cry, don't cry. :.)..