The following post continues my coming out story immediately after the events described here.
When I entered my parents room, I sat down on an old decorative church pew from an ancestor’s pioneer home, my dad sitting in an armchair to my left, my mom laying on the bed to my right. Sitting on the hard wood, l bowed my head an looked at the floor, contemplating the momentary semblance of piety. I almost felt like I was in a confession about to share my true soul for the first time. I couldn’t quite force myself to look up.
The air was filled with a nervous tension based on the awkward conversations I had with my parents earlier asking them if I could talk to them. I was sure they could hear the beating of my pounding heart reverberating throughout the room. My chest felt as if it might explode from the intense pressure.
Putting the book “No More Goodbyes” and the copies of the coming out letters I had printed on the floor next to me, I raised my head and timidly looked up at my parents. I couldn't quite read their faces. A combination of concern mixed with a decent attempt to look unconcerned was evident in their faces. I felt similarly conflicted. I was going to tell them I was gay, and there was no going back.
This was the moment I had geared up for but still I felt woefully unprepared. Everything was about to change. I took a deep breath trying to calm the tempest within me and then began to speak.
I tried to open with some sort of lighthearted remark to let some of the pressure out of the room but failed spectacularly. I managed to get a smile from my mom which calmed my nerves slightly. Seeing my parents smile had always made me feel comfortable, and it was the brief glimpse of normalcy I needed to continue.
Glancing back and forth from my mom to my dad, I thanked them for what wonderful parents they were and for their never ending love and support. I knew that once I started speaking, things would get easier, so I forged ahead though I felt like I was recklessly running toward a drop off of unfathomable depth.
I told them that I had been through a lot of self-reflection recently as evidenced by my visible stress, breaking out, not being able to concentrate and really not being myself the past several days. It was then that I said I was about to tell them why.
I paused as my voice broke, but I could not stop or my voice would fail me. I tried to sound confident and not have my voice waver or falter any more. I told them that my significant weight loss also factored into what I was going to share with them and that it was one of the many positive things resulting from what I was going through.
Realizing that my eyes had drifted again to the floor where my letters were, I paused and looked up again wondering what was going through their minds. We had never really talked this frankly before. I didn't know what to expect from them. Could they guess what was coming? Did they already suspect? I could tell that they were trying so hard to be open and keep a smile on their faces.
I said I had written a letter explaining everything that I would like them to read. My mom perked up a bit at this because she loves receiving and reading notes and letters from her children. I was a little wary of how her emotions would change and wondered how this letter would rank among the ones she holds onto for keepsakes. I picked up the envelopes off the carpet, the paper vibrating in my shaking hands.
Asking them to read through the whole letter before asking any questions, I said the last thing they would ever hear from their only son before they knew. Almost tearing up, I said, "I love you. Giving you this letter is the hardest thing I have done in my life."