My coming out to selected friends (part I)
I came out to selected friends on Facebook. It was a TESL group, my batch, which has 120 members. I don’t know everyone in the group (but I know most), and didn’t check before the coming out.
But the people I know in the group have been very supportive. Many friends sent me private messages on Facebook, and chose not to comment in the post itself. Whatever reason they had, I didn’t ask nor do I plan to. Their kindness to show support and love was overwhelming enough. One friend called me the next day, concerned if I was suicidal. And a few others reached out by sending me text messages. Overwhelming.
I later found out that a few of my friends got some private messages from a few homophobic friends for giving me encouragement and support. Most of my TESL friends are Muslims. I don’t really blame them for being homophobic. And the fact that they didn’t say it in my face (or Facebook) speaks volume: that they respect or like me enough not to disparage me directly. Perhaps they value the friendship. Perhaps they know it’s not really a choice, but they disprove anyway.
You can see some comments below have traces of homophobia and lack of understanding of our nature, but I chose not to react to them. There are always going to be people like that. I think it’s good to know where people stand. And I’m glad they’re honest.
I’m sharing this as an encouragement for those who are thinking about coming out. I’ve received several emails in the past from Muslims asking me if I ever consider coming out. And my answer is still the same: I don’t really see the need to do it, considering my sexuality doesn’t impact anyone, but I do plan to come out sooner or later.
When I did this, I didn’t really have any expectation, other than a willingness to lose some friends. I know some of my TESL friends are liberal, and so that gave me courage. But at the same time, I know others are religious and traditional. Yes, sure, things can turn sour or bad really quickly after coming out. But sometimes, people change. Help and support sometimes comes from the least expected people. If you need to reach out, reach out. Think things through. Be prepared to lose friends/family. When the time is right, do it. And do it with the right people in a calm state of mind.
And don’t worry about losing people in your life. Sometimes they’re not ready for the real you yet. In the meantime, their life experiences in your absence will change their mind. If it’s meant to be, they will reappear in your life. This time, better. Have faith in that.