Yet, even with all of these worries and apprehensions, this need to tell her still burned inside of me. It’s amazing — I was so afraid of the truth, so afraid of my life changing forever, but I could still feel this need underneath all of that.
At last, the need to speak the truth far outweighed the fear. I think all closeted men and women eventually reach this breaking of the equilibrium, and that’s when we finally say it out loud. There comes a point when saying nothing just doesn’t feel safe anymore. When we reach that point, we not only find our voice, but we start learning how to scream.
That night, Stacey helped me speak. I remember her finally getting worried about what news could possibly be so difficult to convey. She got slightly stern with me and said, “Adam. Seriously. You are starting to scare me. Just tell me what you are trying to say.”
So I stopped pacing, sat down next to her, looked at the ground because my eyes were too afraid to look up, and I said, “I’m gay.”
It felt like someone just ripped a band-aid off my arm. I barely got the words out and I followed them up with, “Oh my god, I said it. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. I’m sorry that took so long. Please don’t hate me. If you hate me, don’t tell me ’cause I can’t handle that right now.” I felt sick to my stomach. I continued looking down at the ground.
And Stacy replied, “Adam. It is fine. It is totally fine.” She put her hand on my arm. I managed to look at her. She smiled at me. And as always, her face said, “I’m not judging you at all.”
Just like that, someone else knew I was gay. But most importantly, they knew because I had told them. I had summoned up the strength to tell her from my own lips. I had taken the first step. Looking back on that very scary and very arduous first step, words alone cannot express how proud I am of myself.
The pride I feel today far outweighs the fear I felt then.
I found my voice. I found my words. And you are reading them…