But also, because it’s brilliant.
For those not on twitter: Brent Bailey, blogger at Odd Man Out, and a good friend, asked myself and a couple of other fantastic bloggers to reflect on the positive aspects of coming out to our Christian friends. I wish I had more time, but I am really pressed this week, so the new story here is shortish.
The other night I came out to one of my closest friends. We were on a drive in his brand new car just weaving our way through the city. After going on about all the features in his hot new ride, he asked me how I’ve been doing lately and I told him I’m gay. It slipped out, just like that.
Our brief joy ride led to the two of us sitting in a Granite City booth at 11 PM, talking it through, beginning to end. He had so many questions and many of them were quite gutsy for our first conversation. Before beginning, he’d preface with, “Okay, I’m not sure if this okay to ask…” and wait to see if I give him the go-ahead nod.
“Have you ever felt like you could have a deep conversation with any of us, like a heart to heart? “
I shook my head no and was taken aback by the lump rising in my throat.
He smiled and nodded back and told me how he couldn’t imagine what that must be like, to feel so separated. And now, how good it must feel to be able to really sit with him and know that no matter what, he wasn’t going anywhere, he was always going to be my brother, closer now than ever. Let’s order another beer.
In no shortage of words, he expressed how this had a HUGE impact on our relationship because it took it to a whole new level. He was confided in and that made him feel good. He expressed how he has a cousin that’s gay and how angry he gets when he hears the crude things coming out of the culture war. How he’s ready to fight tooth-and-nail on my behalf because he loves me. We stayed in the booth for a couple more hours.
More than anything, what he gave back to me was the affirmation that coming out is a good thing. The very thing that many of us grew up thinking was the worst possible thing. Our Christian friends are much more loving than we give them credit for. Taking that step can create breakthroughs in friendships, opening spaces where we need our buds the most.
it truly was an incredible night.
PS: I’ve shared this story about how my immigrant brother from another mother was impacted by my coming out, which I think is important because often times us sexual minorities feel that we are burdening others with our story. But sometimes we’re actually liberating them.