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  • Patti

My Naivety in Sharing the News

In Post 2 I alluded to my naivety in telling others that Johnny is gay. He was very open with his coming out and planned every step. After telling over 20 friends during 1:1 conversations, he planned to post at 8:00pm on the Sunday night before the new year of high school began. He had graduated and was looking forward to college, but knew that his many followers would be checking their news feed and he could “come out” once and for all. With the news released, he could then focus on being who he is and on his transition to college

Because of his openness I was able to share freely. Many of my friends have gay children who are at various stages of coming out. They cannot be as open as I was. But, I had his permission.

I wanted to share. I felt driven to open up a conversation. Looking back I see that I was naive. At the same time, I am glad that I had a convenient way to bring up the topic. When a child goes off to college, everyone asks about the transition. A natural part of the conversation is “Where are they going?” “What will they study?” “How do they like it?” I had many opportunities to add in, “Johnny told us he was gay and he feels so comfortable in his skin. We are so happy he is able to go to college and be honest and able to tell people he meets that he is gay.”

Following those remarks I could share that this has been a time of growth and our family completely supports him. I had a lot to say while the people on the other end of the conversation caught their breath.

Some responded with a “deer in the headlights” look, astonished that someone had just rocked their idea of who would be gay or straight. Some responded back with, “How did he know?” Or “It can change, you know.” I practiced providing responses but it was hard to know what to expect. Certainly, many kept most of their thoughts to themselves. I can imagine there were plenty of conversations that I never knew about. People sharing their thoughts with each other. Many coming to conclusions that couldn’t be informed since they didn’t ask questions. Maybe they needed to do some research. Or maybe they depended on their preconceived notions.

Other people responded with quiet pauses. And then, “I have a gay child, too.” Or “My niece is bisexual.”

This opened up a bond that comes when you join the club of commonality.

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