Archive for the ‘Australia’ Tag

Baby Steps Out if the Closet

As I’ve mentioned many times and in many ways in my posts, I’ve got a Special Femme in my life. She’s my muse, my best friend, my co-conspirator in mischief, my sounding board, my purpose, my goal, my home and my heart’s desire. The love we share has absolutely transformed my life in the best possible way.

She has become critically important to me. And so important is her happiness, I am determined that her happiness will not be dashed by my careless action or negligent inaction.

That determination has led me, once again, to think, stew, mull over and obsess about just how and when to come out. You see, loving and honoring her fully is impossible if the part of my identity that is so closely associated with her is hidden or obscured from the other important people in my life.

So, when I began recounting my trip to Australia to friends and work colleagues over the last week, I had a moment of clarity: to really explain the nature of my trip, I needed to talk about Lulu. And in thinking about what to say, I simply could not say less than the truth: she’s my girlfriend and I went to Australia to spend time with her.

The first couple of times, talking to work colleagues, I admit that I was a little awkward in expressing it. But even those awkward chats were liberating, affirming and uplifting in the uniform acceptance and adulation I received. The key is a technique I learned from the sales guys I work with. It’s called a “presumptive sell”, where you assume that the person you’re talking to understands and acknowledges the premise you’re working from and agrees with your position. You presume their agreement and close the sale with little resistance.

In this context, by assuming everyone knows I’m gay and that talking about my girlfriend is natural, I make it easy for them and myself to focus the conversation on the vacation and not the astounding news that I’m not only gay but have an Aussie girlfriend.

Thus, without ever making any dramatic, overt declaration of “I’m gay”, I’ve come out to a dozen of my colleagues in a few conversations, to universal approbation and well wishes.

What’s more, the supportive reactions of the first few built my confidence to the point that I was able to acknowledge that the dread I’ve carried for so long is pointless and to let it go.

So today, during a staff appreciation lunch in which I shared my Oz trip photos, I came out to the people I work most closely with. Sharing pics of Lulu and our fun time together was freeing on so many levels. And their acknowledgement of our relationship, some noting how happy I am since she came into my life, was a type of validation that I didn’t even know I needed. What a relief!

In talking it over joyfully with Lulu afterward, I had another flash of insight. Though these coming out discussions are somewhat safe and innocuous, and their positive outcome empowering, I think I’ve gone about it this way on purpose, at at least subconsciously. Because as more and more arms-length people become aware, the positive pressure to come out to my family increases. It’s as if my subconscious mind recognizes that I need a firm hand in the back to propel me to the inflection point at which my family learn the truth from my lips intentionally, or from one of our mutual acquaintances by accident. Either way, it’s going to happen, and soon.

So…baby steps. First, one vey safe, remote friend. Then a few business acquaintances and colleagues. Then some closer work friends. Now my closest colleagues. Soon, the courage and need will coincide and I’ll tell my brothers and closest family.

What happens, happens. But the important thing is that I’m no longer afraid of the truth and I refuse to hide my bright, lovely Lulu under a bushel any longer.

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