Well, Ricky Martin came out of the closet. Some say, “It’s about time!” Others, well others are a little more understanding, and of course there are those who are not at all understanding.
Ricky Martin wrote a beautifully written ‘coming out’ notice to the public. In it, he explained how he has reached the point in his life that made him feel it was the right time. He said he is happy now and hints to the fact that his homosexuality was a dark cloud hanging over the light that came from his two sons. Good for Ricky, I say. But, it was HIS time.
Most of the accounts of people who decide to shed this skin, do so at a time that they feel ready to do so. However, it may or may not be the right time for you. I believe that most people who are gay are surrounded by people who know they’re gay. They know they’re gay, and they know everyone knows they’re gay. So, why don’t they just tell people already, and get it over with? I don’t believe it’s that simple. Imagine this, your entire life you do your best to fit in and be like everyone else. It’s easy for them. They have girlfriends if they’re guys, and they have boyfriends if they’re girls. They will date, party with their friends, go to prom with their boyfriends and girlfriends. They have their first loves and they kiss in public and they think that they could never love anyone as much as they love their boyfriends and girlfriends and they tell EVERYONE that! Take all of that joy away and you have gay teens. They endure that, then they go to college. The same things happen, they watch their friends with their boyfriends and girlfriends, making out everywhere, practically having sex on the dance floor. You might have a ‘beard’ boyfriend or girlfriend, but you know it’s not right for you. Again, take away all of the joy and happiness that comes from the feelings that most people take for granted and now, you have a gay college student. People wonder why so many gay people commit suicide, I think the reasons are obvious. So many have never experienced happiness before, how can they be truly happy when they have told themselves that they are not allowed to love the way they really want to love?
Time moves on, you have a job and it’s the kind of job you cannot share your sexuality, again, more reason to stay in the closet. Only now, so many years have passed and the closet is getting darker and darker and your lies are starting to suffocate you and then someone throws you a life ring and hint that it’s ok to tell them. Of course you don’t tell them right away, but there is now a sliver of light coming through that door. You surround yourself with good people, people who you know won’t care if you’re gay or not, you feel the time is almost right. Then you go online and start chatting with other gay people and after hearing their stories, you begin to feel empowered and perhaps it’s the right time. You test the waters, maybe saying you’re bisexual, are they ok with that? Some more time passes and you meet someone, you date them, fall in love and now you are happy and you want to share it with those you care about. So you do. Their reaction is just as you thought it would be, support. I believe in this day and age that most people you surround yourself with will fully support you. Some might feel strange at first, it’s an adjustment for them, just as it is for you. Don’t blame them, support them just as they did you.
I believe this story is common in many people who are deciding when to come out. Of course, some people might be younger and living in the right circumstances to foster their coming out. Or, it might be a 60 year old who has lived in the closet for so long they finally need to break free and find happiness and love. In any case, I feel it is important to support those who want to come out. If you suspect someone might be gay, don’t come out and ask them if they’re gay, if they haven’t told you already, they’re not ready. Show them support, talk about how cool it is that Ricky Martin came out of the closet and how you wish that gay people could feel the happiness that he is feeling.
If you’re looking for support to come out and you want to test the waters, bring up the fact that Ricky Martin came out, see how people react and go from there.
If you’re not ready to come out of the closet, don’t do it. Don’t force it until it is the right time for you. I believe it will happen when it is meant to and not a minute too soon or too late. You will know. It’s not about how others will react, chances are, most people will be supportive. My ultimate advice, tell your good friends first, then gage the right time to tell your parents. It will be several steps. Also, understand the fact that this will not be all about you despite what you may believe. It will affect your loved ones and they deserve the respect and understanding that you want for yourself.
Good luck in your journey, I wish you all the best!