21 February 2009

Alan Comes Out Again

Tonight I came out to my sister, so far the only one in the family I've told. We went for a long drive and she read a 9 page letter I wrote to her which basically explained the whole story of my life from the time I first realized around age 14 that I might be gay, up till just about a week or so ago. She took a long time to read it while I waited.

Then she embraced me and held me tightly, with tears in her eyes. I smiled and said Why are you crying, there's no need to cry. She wasn't sad. She was touched. She already knew, she said. That's why I chose to come out to this one of my sisters, the others would not have been so intuitive or understanding. What followed was another 90 minutes or so of driving around and talking about much of what I've previously posted about, frustrations, freedoms, the relief of finally being myself. For the first time in my life it was safe to talk with a family member about my feelings, my disappointments, the missionary companion I fell head over heels for, how I couldn't help dreaming of what it'd be like to have a life partner that I could love and make a family with, how blessed I was to have kids who were so totally understanding and accepting, how I prayed that someday the Church would receive more instruction that would fill the huge gaping black hole in our knowledge about this whole issue. Such a relief to feel safe letting all that spill out. We talked about gaydar, about movies and music, about my MoHo friends and Scott's parties, and more. And she understood it all, and shared all my views. No judgment. Just love and acceptance. "I don’t understand it as a concept," she said, "because I'm straight, but I see that this is you and I love you and I know you are a good man who only wants what is good and right." Boy did I luck out in the sister department. What an incredible relief to be able to talk freely about all of this with her!

We were at a big family function earlier this evening with lots of relatives, including some by marriage whom I actually hadn't met before. And when I said "Have I seemed different at all to you lately," she immediately said "Yes!" How, I asked. She said "When you were talking to [certain people] tonight, there was a different spirit about you. I know you're a smart guy and all," she said, "and sometimes in the past that's made you come across as kind of distant. But tonight you were different. You talked to everybody on their level. You were completely approachable and open with no pretenses. You were just a regular guy, open and honest and friendly and accepting of everyone. It was different than you've ever been before."

And I said "Well, now you know why. It's because I've unlocked who I really am and let him out. No more pretenses. I don't feel anymore like I have this relentless pressure to conform to a railroad track of what I have to do and who I have to be. I am so much happier now, I would be surprised if it didn't show through." And she said yes, it did.

We went for milkshakes and talked some more. I made her promise that she wouldn't ask me if I thought any particular guy was hot. She laughed. We headed home, she saying she felt honored that I would trust her with this knowledge, me feeling grateful for her love and understanding and freer than I ever felt before.

I am so blessed.


Anonymous said...

AWESOME!! Lova ya!

Ausmo said...

Congratulations mate! I'm so happy this went so well for you and your sister sounds like an amazing person. I imagine the relief you had felt like a ton was off you.

I know what you mean about letting your true self out I have been the same lately allot happier and well me. great job!

Keep being who you are, and enjoying life I'm really happy for you.

Formerly known as Peter said...

I too am blessed with a sister who is amazing and supportive and so I know how wonderful that feels. Congratulations! I wish everyone had such a sister.

Scott said...


I'm so happy for you! It sounds like you had a wonderful experience--and like you have a wonderful sister! I'm glad you've got someone close to you who you can be open with and share your journey with.

The only thing I personally would have done differently...

I made her promise that she wouldn't ask me if I thought any particular guy was hot.

What's the fun of having a female acquaintance know you're gay if you can't compare notes with her on who's cute and who isn't? :)

Seriously, though, I'm thrilled for you!

Scot said...

Congratulations! I'm very happy for you, and your sister. Such openness and understanding can only bring you closer.

Michael said...

Congrats Alan! I am happy that this went well for you. I hope the rest of your family will someday be as supportive as this sister. Feel nice to be you! Keep it up!

October Rising said...

that's great! :)

Silver said...

Related so much to your comments about being more at ease at gatherings and being more yourself.
It can be such a relief to finally be honest with self and others about what is really going on inside of us. I know it has worked wonders for my confidence and my ability to understand others.

I also related to your metaphore of the railroad track. I've felt "railroaded" much of my life and unable to really seek my own course. Nice to have the freedom to try those new paths and associations, including the blogosphere for me.

I have four sisters. None know yet. My brother is old school, homophobic and intolerant. I'll never risk telling him, but you've given me encouragement in considering bringing my sisters into the fold.

Thanks Alan, what you share here blesses me and doubless many others.


Sarah said...

Sweet, really sweet. I am so happy for you! Thanks for sharing this story.

kyle said...

That's great!

(I was going to use the word awesome, but D. already took it from me [smile] )

Alan said...

Thanks to you all for your support. It's been like that Christmas morning feeling for me ever since last night. No need for shoes since I have hardly touched the ground since then. Why'd I wait so long?

Clarification @Scott: I know you were tongue in cheek, so was I, actually. We both laughed about it. So did the kids, later.

El Genio said...

You are really lucky to have a supportive family member.

Ezra said...

Alan, I'm so happy for you. I am proud to be one of your friends.

Bravone said...

Alan, I can appreciate how liberating it is to not be holding everything inside. I am so happy that you have some support within your family. You're the man.


Beck said...

The tears in my eyes are not tears of sadness, but of joy for you.