You came out to your family and a few friends, and no one ever talked about it at all. No one asked if you’d found love. No one asked if there was someone you were currently seeing, or even how you were feeling.
You came out from the closet and stepped into a room full of broken bones on a very squishy wooden floor, and every step you made was like a wakeup call to the wild animals that there was a foreign object in the room.
And you wondered: Which is better, the stifling closet or the awkward lounge?
Nobody talks about the next step after coming out. Scratch that. Nobody knows the next step after coming out. Well, here is an idea: if you are still in the closet, enjoy the comfy dark confinement. And if you are out, welcome to the living nightmare where all you once knew . . . well, life just became a blank, nasty slate.
A couple of months after coming out to my family, I began to notice that things were good, but not great, and definitely not the same. I used to be a loner even among my family members, but now I make loners look like party people on steroids. Most times, I just wish I remained in the closet where my worst fear was how long it would take my travel documents to be ready so I can move to Europe.
But I am out. And I am not going back in.
I remember the first meaningful conversation I had with my dad after I came out was: “So what direction do you want to take now?” It took every fibre and restraint in me not to say I want to be an activist for the LGBTQI community. I instead replied, “More schooling.” I have been volunteering at HIV/AIDS educational peer projects, Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders since I was sixteen, and every time we were out, I could spot the LGBTs among the victims, and beside them would be a ‘loved one’ who didn’t fit in the picture. And I would imagine a world where we wouldn’t have to be subjected to the status quo, where when a loved one is to be by your side, it will be picture perfect, and not the ‘ideal picture’.
As I got older, my passion increased. I would write short stories about two boys, and then burn them so no one would see. I longed for a better, freer world to share my stories, but there was none around me. And what was then a passion slowly turned into an interest, and then it became a job experience on my resumé. And then, last year, I discovered Kito Diaries, and like a phoenix, an old passion came alive, stronger and brighter. I discovered a new family where I needed no restraints.
So to rightly answer my dad’s question – I want to/will be an activist for the LGBTQI.
It’s been months since the conversation with my dad, and now more than ever, I am convinced that this is what I want. But then that means I will have to come out to the world. Coming out to some close people is one thing, but letting the entire world know and defending the course? The answer to this have been keeping me awake at night and making my heart beat world records over and over again every time I hear the word ‘coming out.’ I am almost convincing myself that it’s not my place to change the world, or even make it better, and it is certainly not my position to cause change.
But then, my mind tells me: “Find what you love. Stand by it. And let it kill you if it can.”
I am exhaustively confused and torn. It’s becoming like a curse that I can’t shake off. Two friends I told said I was being courageous; they forgot to add stupid, psychotic and suicidal. They don’t understand that the reason I told them was not to support me, but to talk me out of it.
For now I don’t know what the next step for me is and I am terrified to find out. I have made a countdown to a couple months for my public coming out, and maybe a video clip to go with it.
I am sharing this because I need all the prayers and help in the world. There’s also that hope that someone will succeed in talking me out of this.
Written by ScarFace