The most exciting news is that I came out to my 16-year-old son a few weeks back and it surpassed any of my wildest hopes of how well it would go.
He told me that he loved me and that I would always be his father and that he supported me. He said also that he had suspected for about a year. What gave me away? The fact that I didn’t like sports and that I liked Glee was, in his mind, key reasons he believed I might be gay.
The long-feared hurtful impact of coming out to my son was one of the key things my wife used to keep me in the marriage. While in my heart I believed my son was open-minded and would do well with the news, my wife was adamant that it would destroy him. She even told my sister that my coming out to my son might drive him to suicide. She was completely wrong about his reaction. She used her fear of how this would impact him to make me unsure of myself and afraid as well. Now that my son knows I’m gay, there’s really nothing holding me in the marriage except how the breakup of the marriage will impact him.
So how do I leave after 20+ years?? I’ve looked at apartments online and found some places I like. I’ve gone on Match.com and created a profile, but not put my picture online just yet. I really want to date and it’s hard to look at some of the cute guys on Match and Grindr without wanting to go the next step and reach out to them. I want to create a life outside of my marriage that is my own, with friends that have meaning for me. In my current life, I don’t have many friends, mostly by choice, because I always felt I was hiding and didn’t want to build a friendship from the shadows.
I continue to make progress and take baby steps. But at some point, I’ll need to rip the band-aid off and move forward.