By: Chris Coyne
Jon and I dated for a year before we moved in together. He had quit his job and entered business school right when I met him. I was working for a struggling media company based in the valley. My job offered lots of flexibility so we hung out most weekends. During a summer break Jon took an internship working for his family’s company based in South Florida. He was gone for six weeks but he turned down a better internship in London because of me. The day he returned we were shopping for a place for all of us. Jon, my dog Toby, and I crammed into a crappy one bedroom apartment in the WeHo ghetto above Sunset. Jon referred to me as his “roommate” to his parents and brothers any time they called. They rarely visited but I began to feel like Jon’s dirty little secret. I knew he was conflicted. We would talk for hours about how he was raised. I thought I understood his feelings concerning coming out of the closet. I never expected him to come out of the closet. I never expected anything because he was so amazing. He treated me so well. I felt like a better person for knowing him. I like to think of myself as a secure rational person but I gained that knowledge after we met. I did not have a positive person in my life who told me I could do anything. He built up my self-esteem to the point where I was more secure about who I was.
You see, I came out of the closet when I was 25. I was married to my high school sweetheart at 19. I knew I was gay but I also had a very religious upbringing. She was, and is, an amazing person. I was a mess after our ugly divorce. I thought I could live a normal life. In my mind I had built this false future. I thought we would have children and buy a house with the white fence and we would live happily ever after –despite the fact that I knew I was GAY! I had repressed the feelings. I had never acted on them. I thought I was sure to burn in hell for eternity if I acted on the feelings. Anyway, after the divorce my older brother was in a horrible car accident. I moved up north for a few months to help take care of him and his two kids. I lived on a boat in a small harbor and I was really depressed. I felt like had nothing to live for. One day I woke up and I called one of my very best friends who had moved very far away. I told her I was gay. It felt amazing to say those words. I spent the rest of the day calling friends and family members basically telling everyone I was gay. I never looked back, but most of my insecurities remained into most of my adult life –until I met Jon.
A few weeks after I moved in with Jon he went home for Thanksgiving. He told his little brother he was gay. The next thing I know, Jon’s parents are on a plane, flying to California to meet me. I was freaking out!
I never expected Jon to come out. He is the oldest of four boys and comes from an uber-conservative Mormon family. I thought it was not possible, but he did. His parents came to our crappy apartment and his mom gave me a huge hug. His dad slapped me on the ass and welcomed me into the family! His little brother provided huge comic relief. He was eighteen at the time and he has an amazing way of breaking the ice in any akward situation.
Our relationship changed so much after that visit. I was no longer Jon’s dirty little secret! I was his boyfriend and it was amazing! His family opened their hearts to me the second I met them. I did not know this was even possible. I was in a real relationship with the man of my dreams.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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