Friday 28 October 2016

National Coming Out Day: 'If I were to die, I needed my parents to know who their son truly was'

Published 11/10/2015 | 16:08 are looking to share stories from readers for National Coming Out Day.

  • Go To reader Andres Nikolas Ordorica wrote in to tell us their experience.

Every gay person gets asked two questions all the time. First, when did you come out of the closet? Second, do your parents know you are gay? If it took me almost until nineteen to come out of the closet for myself, then it took a month and some days before my twentieth birthday to tell my parents. Almost an entire year out of the closet and they knew nothing. The circumstances were hard and I will never forget the day I finally told them. 

I will always regret my finals week of my second year of university. I was far too busy and consumed with planning my journey back home and writing essays. I did not really pay attention to anyone else. I was online one day during finals and my friend Serena started messaging me asking if I would be home for my summer holidays. I said yes, and talked with her for a brief time. I was in a rush so I said my goodbyes and “see you back home” and signed off. That would be the last time I talked to her. If only I could have taken that back and actually talked to her. But for us our last interaction would be remote and electronic, a product of our generation. I would be left with nothing more than that talk.

I was barely back even a week from university and I ran into my best friend Kerrie. When Kerrie said that Serena was dead my world changed completely. Serena had died a day before she was to come home from university. My high school friend was gone and I never got to say goodbye to her. In an instant with the word “death” my life had completely changed.

It was a lonely car ride home lacking emotion. I was just suspended. I was frozen in time. I felt like I was floating along the highway as the world buzzed on by me. The ocean outside my car window waited there, watching me, asking me to enter. Asking me to suspend myself and stop thinking.

I broke down many times over the summer.

Death is expansive like the ocean. It seems like it goes on and on. When you deal with it, it is not small like a rain droplet, or puddle of water. Death is big and it seems like it will go on forever and you will never escape it. It is always there, always waiting. You feel so small next to it. I felt at nineteen it was something I should not have to face. 

I was in the pew and my mind was flooded with thoughts. The most pressing thought though to flood my mind was the one that caused me to finally come out to my parents. If it had been me who died my parents would have not fully known who I was. The idea of someone having to tell my parents or it slipping out by accident was a tragic one. If I were to die, I needed my parents to know who their son truly was. I needed them to know I was gay.

I came back from the memorial service and sat in my living room with my mom. I kept trying to start up the conversation but I felt like a paralytic. My tongue froze and I was immobile. Finally, I asked my parents if we could talk. And, I told them. I told them how I felt about Serena’s death, about my fear that it could have been anyone, and more importantly how I wanted them to know who I was. I was gay.

I was calm as I lay in my mother’s arms sobbing just like the night I told her about Serena. The hot tears ran down my face but it was going to be all right. My parents now knew me. I was safe in my mother’s arms and I felt whole again. I felt like I was alive and every fiber in my body had new meaning.

I will never know why Serena had to die so young. I probably will never know the answer. What I do know though is that she gave me the greatest gift ever. Serena gave me the courage to tell my parents who I really was. She gave me new life and I will carry that gift with me for the entirety of my existence.

I began that year on a journey and I finished what needed to be done. I let my world know who I was. I let my world know I was gay. I chose to live that year. I chose not to hide any more in a cold and isolated closet. My life would be different. It would have its obstacles, but in the end it was my life to live. And, if for nothing else I had many people to live it out for".

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