by ANDRES GARCIA/South Kern Sol
LAMONT–Coming out of the closet to your friends may be a simple task to do, since you see them probably once a day. However, coming out of the closet to your family is tougher. You will probably tense up and want it to stay hidden.
I know this for a fact because with my family I’ve been in the closet for about six years. I come from a catholic family, and knowing that, I figured they’ll probably be closed-minded. I first came out to my niece Mercedes, 15, since she was the one I could talk to about these situations.
“I have no problem with you being bisexual, in fact, I believe it makes you the person you are,” she said “I love you for that and I always will.”
That right there gave me the power to open up to the rest of my family. Now, not everyone was thrilled about it as my niece was. I even got into arguments with my brother and father.
“If you would have just told me a long time ago I wouldn’t have had a problem with it, but the fact that I had to find out last makes me believe that our relationship as brothers is not strong enough to talk about personal feelings,” said my brother.
My brother is always overly dramatic about the subjects we talked about. Personally, I actually believed he was telling me the truth for once and I was scared to come out to my father. A little background behind the whole father/son relationship, my father and I never got along quite right. We argued over the most idiotic things and we literally get into fights, but whose family doesn’t, right?
My father didn’t take it too well. In fact, he stopped talking to me for about a whole week. Not even once would he yell at me for leaving my shoes on the living room floor like he would before. It came to the point where I just busted out into tears because I felt like I didn’t have a father to speak to anymore.
Then one night, he was outside drinking his beer and working on cars as he does everyday, I just went and started to yell at him.
“What is your problem with me, ¿que tienes conmigo? ¿Por que no quieres hablar conmigo (Why don’t you want to talk to me)?” He wouldn’t say a word. “Talk to me!”
“Callate la boca (Shut your mouth). No quiero hablar ‘horita (I don’t want to talk at this moment). Hablamos cuando termino con esta carro (We’ll talk after I’m finished with this car),” he said.
I waited inside patiently, thinking of all the things he would say. I was seriously terrified. As my father walks in, I notice that he first grabs a beer and then sits down.
“You are my son and I wanted to know what goes on in your life. You sure don’t have a problem running your mouth off about things that go on with the rest of your life. Why didn’t you just tell me about this?”
“I didn’t tell you because I wasn’t ready to come out. I saw the way you were when you found out (my sister) Isabel was a lesbian. I didn’t want that to happen to me. It’s so much harder for a guy to come out than a girl because the world sees lesbians as OK but as soon as a guy comes out, all hell breaks loose,” I said.
“I was just shocked with your sister, that’s all. As for you, I didn’t know what to say. It’s all too new and to have a son be like that, I was just afraid you might get hurt. If I just pretended like you didn’t tell me anything I would have been OK because I wouldn’t think of all the troubles a life like that would give you,” my dad said.
“Well I did tell you, I didn’t want to keep it a secret,” I said.
“I know and for that I love you,” my dad said.
The best thing you could do for yourself in situations where you’re questioning whether to come out or not, is build a circle of trust with your family first, not your friends. They will only be there about half of the time while your family is always there with you.