Opening a New Chapter

by Greg
(Orangeburg, SC)

Original Text: Opening a New Chapter


I now look back at the process I took in opening a new chapter in my life by telling the people most important to me that I was a homosexual, and realizing that doing so made me the person I am today. For me, there were three main steps. The first step was realization of who I am and what could happen in telling everyone. Then came the most difficult part of all-sharing my true self to the people most important in my life. Finally, there is the satisfaction of the people I love knowing the real me. The decisions we make can define who we become in life, and by deciding to come out to my family I defined myself as a gay male.
The first thing for me was admitting to myself that I was a gay male. It was hard to even think about living in Orangeburg, South Carolina and seeing how my family was raised. I grew up hearing about what happened to my Uncle Greg when he came out to our family. When he came out everyone in our family disowned him except my mother, and he passed away having a family that wanted nothing to do with him. Knowing what happened to him made it so much harder for me to accept that I was gay or that I could even come out to my family. After spending months thinking about it I finally knew what I had to do in order to be happy with myself.
Coming out to my friends was the easy part. After telling my friends we all made t-shirts for National Coming Out Day and went around the school giving out skittles and having everyone sign my shirt. Telling my family was the difficult part. My mother really never gave me the chance to tell her because she told me that she knew all along and she would love me no matter what. My sister was also easy to tell because she was happy to have a gay brother. Then came the hardest part of all-telling my father. I told my father on graduation night and after telling him, he slowly stopped talking to me. My father and I didn’t talk for about seven months. That’s when he went into the hospital and had to have a six by-pass on his heart. I spent almost every night with him till he was ok to come home and even then I moved back home to help my father till he was fully recovered. After him seeing that I wasn’t going anywhere no matter, if he hated me or not, we started to slowly talk again. Lucky for me the rest of my family heard from other people so I never really to tell them myself.
After coming out to everyone, I felt happier than I have ever been. I didn’t have to worry about people finding out because they already knew. I learned that if people didn’t like me for me then they weren’t worth my time. My social life grew, and I ended up gaining more friends after coming out. My sister threw her bachelorette party at a gay dance club in Charleston called Pantheon where she, my mother and I got to all go out and celebrate her marriage. I have become a lot closer to my family now that I have come out to them. We have grown to be a stronger and closer family than before.
The decisions we make in our lives can really define who we become. Making the decision to come out to my family and friends was one of the best choices I could have ever made. I think of what my mom always told me and that is “the truth will set you free,” and I was set free by telling the truth about myself because I didn’t have to hide any more. Had I never came out to my family, today I would be more distant and angry that I had to hide everything about myself. Looking back at everything I wouldn’t have change a single thing about it. Opening that new chapter in my life and letting everything out was truly a blessing in disguise.

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Revised Text:

I now look back at the process I took in opening a new chapter in my life by telling the people most important to me that I was a homosexual, and realizing that doing so made me the person I am today. For me, there were three main steps. The first step was realization of who I am and what could happen in telling everyone. Then came the most difficult part of all, sharing my true self to the people most important in my life. Finally, there was the satisfaction of the people I love knowing the real me. The decisions we make can define who we become in life, and by deciding to come out to my family, I defined myself as a gay male.

The first thing for me was admitting to myself that I was a gay male. It was hard to even think of, living in Orangeburg, South Carolina and seeing how my family was raised. I grew up hearing about what happened to my Uncle Greg when he came out to our family. When he came out, everyone in our family disowned him except my mother, and he passed away having a family that wanted nothing to do with him. Knowing what happened to him made it so much harder for me to accept that I was gay or that I could come out to my family. After spending months thinking about it, I finally knew what I had to do in order to be happy with myself.

Coming out to my friends was the easy part. After telling my friends, we all made t-shirts for National Coming Out Day and went around the school giving out Skittles and having everyone sign our shirts.

Telling my family was the difficult part. My mother never really gave me the chance to tell her, because she told me that she knew all along and she would love me no matter what. My sister was also easy to tell because she was happy to have a gay brother. Then came the hardest part of all, telling my father. I told my father on graduation night and after telling him, he slowly stopped talking to me. My father and I didn’t talk for about seven months. That’s when he went into the hospital and had to have a six by-pass on his heart. I spent almost every night with him untill he was OK to come home, and I then moved back home to help my father till he was fully recovered. After him seeing that I wasn’t going anywhere, no matter if he hated me or not, we started to slowly talk again. Luckily for me, the rest of my family heard from other people, so I never really had to tell them myself.

After coming out to everyone, I felt happier than I have ever been. I didn’t have to worry about people finding out because they already knew. I learned that, if people didn’t like me for me, then they weren’t worth my time. My social life grew, and I ended up gaining more friends after coming out. My sister threw her bachelorette party at a gay dance club in Charleston called Pantheon where she, my mother, and I got to all go out and celebrate her marriage. I have become a lot closer to my family now that I have come out to them. We have grown to be a stronger and closer family than before.

The decisions we make in our lives can really define who we become. Making the decision to come out to my family and friends was one of the best choices I could have ever made. I think of what my mom always told me, and that is, “the truth will set you free.” I was set free by telling the truth about myself because I didn’t have to hide any more. Had I never came out to my family, today I would be more distant and angry, that I had to hide everything about myself.

Looking back at everything I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about it. Opening that new chapter in my life, and letting everything out, was truly a blessing in disguise.


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