So I did something truly terrifying this new year.
I came out to my Godmother.
She was in fact the only person left in my life who didn’t know. She knew nothing. She never even seemed bothered by the fact that I was in my 20’s and hadn’t had a boyfriend in 6 years…
My process of coming out to other people was relatively easy. My friends at Uni have only ever known me as a huge raging gay. I told my sister who passed the information onto my brother; neither of them cared. My Mother’s facebook stalking skills led her to discover my attendance to LGBT events, and she told all my other relatives because she’s a massive gossip.
But my Godmother… she isn’t exactly a “liberal” Catholic (which sounds like an oxymoron if I ever heard one). Her past history includes disowning a close friend because she terminated a pregnancy…
So I had the slight feeling that my being a homo wasn’t going to go down well. I’ve had my reasons for keeping it from her for the past 3 years. Aside from the fear of being disowned, my Godmother is also a very dear friend of my Mother.
Now my Mother is even more introverted than me, and doesn’t exactly have a huge number of friends. I didn’t want to be the reason why they stopped talking. I didn’t want to be this huge rainbow elephant in the room whenever they met. I didn’t want to be in the awkward position between my Mother and her close friend.
Of course there are other more selfish reasons, the foremost of which is that her son is my mechanic who gives me and R a generous discount on our MOT.
But at the end of last year, I started considering the reasons why I should tell her.
My first thought was “what if I’m wrong?”.
My Grandparents came along in leaps and bounds with regards to me and R. And it’s a wonderful thing to have them meet her, and see how happy I am, and for me to be able to share with them this huge, awesome part of my life.
And I thought, “what if I’m missing that? What if all these years I’ve been missing my Godmother really knowing me and my life because I’ve been afraid?”I wasn’t going to come out to my Grandparents either until my Mother ungracefully outed me to them. I was going to forego everything I have with them because I was afraid of them being angry.
So I thought about the worst case scenario. What if my Godmother got angry? What if she disowns me? But the more I thought, the more I realised it would be better being out and having her angry than staying closeted to her.
I didn’t like having to hide so much from her. I was tired of constantly dodging questions about my love life. I realised I’d already put my Mother in an awkward position by asking her to cover up part of my life.
So I did it.
I wrote her a letter.
I apologised for keeping it from her, but I didn’t apologise for who I was.
And a few hours after giving it to her I got a call…
She wanted me to be happy. She wanted to meet R. She wanted me to be honest.
It’s not been long since it happened, and because I don’t live back home anymore I don’t really see her much. But I’m hoping things will stay positive. I’m looking forward to her asking how R is, asking about my plans once we’ve both graduated. I’m looking forward to inviting her to my engagement party or wedding. All these things that I was scared I wouldn’t get.
Now I would never dream of forcing someone out of the closet. I realise it’s a choice. Sometimes people shy away from it for the same reasons I did. Others, because it’s not safe. People will always have their reasons.
I wish luck to everyone who still has this milestone to pass and would like to add that people can surprise you with their reactions, in both positive and negative ways.
But from this point onwards. There is no one important in my life that I have to hide myself from, and it’s a truly freeing feeling.