Coming Out Story, Part 6 – #TMIishTuesday #67

It’s been a while since I last made a post totally focusing on myself. But it’s time for one. I briefly mentioned in my last post that I wanted to come out to my class last week. Well… Guess what I did!?

 

Hey there mighty people of the internet!

And welcome to issue #67 of #TMIishTuesday. If you’re new, here’s the reasoning behind my weekly #TMIishTuesday series.

Did anything exciting happen this week? Heck, yes! It’s probably the most scary thing I ever did! And this is what this entire post is about!

// Last week I told you about the perversion of people arguing that giving minorities more rights would take away their own rights. And I tried to figure out what makes people think this way: Privilege. But there’s more to it than just this one aspect. Have a read. //

Before I get to the actual topic of this post, I should probably give you a short introduction to my coming out story so far. It’s all on here, so if you want to, you can check it out in full (Part 1-4; Part 5). In short: Connor Franta made me realise that this strange feeling that I had felt all my life might actually be being gay. After some in-depth research I was sure I was. A few days later I came out to my best friend – and it took me another two month to let my parents, another close friend and my friends’ parents, who I’ve known all my life, know. That last bit was in February 2016.

Since, I have thought about letting more people know (by means of a Facebook post, mentioning it in real life, or linking my blog on Facebook). My friends from Münster – my grandma – my cousin – my best friend from the Netherlands – there were a lot of alternatives. What happened was… well… nothing really. About a year ago, I linked my blog on my Twitter (which no one knows of that I know in RL) and got a few notifications from Flexi every now and then (say hi, if you’re still reading, Felix!).

In February a classmate gave me and two other classmates a ride class and one of them asked whether I had a girlfriend. I simply said “no”. I wasn’t prepared – and we only had known each other for about 6 months. I wasn’t ready to come out.

What happened was next: Nothing. Again. 😀 Until June 1. Class unexpectedly finished at 11. I had to prepare a presentation for the next day, so went home. But most of my classmate went to the city for shopping and a coffee or two. When I got home, I went on Twitter. Like I usually do. And I saw this article of queer.de, a German queer news site: An innkeeper/owner of a bar in Osnabrück (where I live) allegedly had told a gay couple to leave his bar after they kissed. Queer.de linked to local newspaper NOZ, where I read up about the incident. And since the article doesn’t mention WHICH bar it’s all about, I went to Facebook posting the link to the article along with the remark: “If anyone knows any info as to which bar we’re talking about here, I’d be grateful to hear. You should avoid such bars.”

The next day we had classes again and for one class we went to the city (the things you do at the end of the year to waste time, right?) and while enjoying a cone of ice cream, the other two guys in my class told me that my post had apparently sparked some rumours among the girls group. Rumours, if I was gay. I tried to react in a way that would show that I didn’t care. I don’t know, if I was successful in doing so, but at least the guys didn’t seem to think that the rumours were true – and that’s exactly how I liked it. I wasn’t planning on coming out.

But it still made me think: The girls like to gossip – that was no news to me. But maybe I should just make it official? After all they all seemed rather open-minded. Sure, one of the guys had used “gay” to describe something bad. But he’s only 17. And it didn’t look as if he really was homophobic. All in all I feel as if our class is very open-minded. I wasn’t expecting any negative comments on coming out, if I decided to do it.

So, I heard about the rumours that Friday and head to Twitter posting about my situation and left it stirring for a week. Thinking this, thinking that, feeling that it can’t be a bad decision. But Thursday comes around again and I haven’t done it, yet. On Saturday, inspired by someone on Twitter talking about coming out to their classmates, I posted about my struggles: Wanting to come out, but not knowing how. Had a brief discussion with @achojo about it that didn’t end up leading to any results, but made me feel more comfortable. On Sunday, I started putting the plan into action: I thought about what I could write to post in our class WhatsApp group and posted it to Twitter to get some feedback. Flexi was the savior this time giving me positive feedback.

Tuesday morning I woke up to a comment by Achim asking how it went. I replied that I hadn’t done it yet. But this pinch right before I drove off to work, might have been the right reminder. I spent some time that was not so busy thinking about coming out and the feeling was overwhelming already. I was ready. I needed this off my chest. It was the last week before the summer break. I needed to do it this week!

I finished writing last week’s #TMIishTuesday at about 19.15. And once it was scheduled, I took some time to get the right mood. I went through my coming out draft again, typed it out in WhatsApp, changed a few things here and there – and after reading it about 800 times, I was satisfied with the content. I took a deep breath and pressed the button. Sent. What the hell had I just done? Was I mad?

Moments later I posted a screenshot on Twitter. Caption: Heart racing. The next minutes I spent in exactly that position: Heart racing, Twitter opened on my laptop, Whatsapp opened on my phone, staring into the nothingness. What a weird feeling.

It took minutes before the first comment. My phone vibrated and my heart beat sped up even more. Turns out it was Felix liking the tweet! What the hell!? I had forgotten to log out of Twitter on my phone. Sure, I really liked Felix’s acknowledgement, but in this situation I was much more about those I know in real life!

The waiting was driving me crazy! Not getting an immediate response is definitely a big disadvantage of the written way!

A few minutes later I finally got the first reaction from my classmates. Someone, who I’m not really close with, gave me kudos for making it public. Over the next hour or so more people replied with similar messages. I felt so much relieve! Although I was still waiting for my best mate to react. But he wouldn’t…

On Wednesday I met two of my classmates at work cause they are also my colleagues. I had asked them to not mention the topic at work or to any other colleagues. So far, it seems they stick to their promise. Cool! That day, I met both of them very briefly. We had some more-than-usual deep eye contact that said about: “That was a big step to take for you, wasn’t it?” – “Yeah, indeed. Thanks for being accepting.”

Then the next big day came around: Thursday. I still hadn’t heard anything on the topic by my best mate and a few other close classmates. But I knew that at least half of the class would be very accepting – and that coming out actually boosted my standing with them a lot. While everyone was sitting in different parts of the room chatting to someone randomly (there was a teacher somewhere, but no class), I had a great little chat about being gay with my Kenyan classmate, who I’m very close with. How I found out, who I told first and the like. Very casual. Probably the most casual I ever had talked about an LGBTQ+ topic in real life before! God, I loved this!

On Friday we were on our way back from the city when another classmate approached me. I’m not super close with her, but still rather close. It was kind of a weird start into the conversation, but it became just as casual as the one I had the day before. Topics were kinda the same. And more kudos for being brave.

The amount of kudos I got is just about how I feel: Lots of people in Germany accept homosexuality, but it’s still kinda a taboo topic. And the bar incident shows why. I think, if I had a boyfriend, I wouldn’t be comfortable holding hands with him in all kinds of situations. Because I’m scared. Scared that some group of “hostile” people will show up and start attacking us. I don’t even wear my rainbow bracelet in public. The only time I kept it on was when I was in the car on my way to my parents. But once I left the house again to go to the city, I took it off. I think I’ll grow more confident with that over time. For now, though: The 17 % of people not being accepting of same-sex marriage in Germany might be a minority, but they are a loud minority.

Anyway, I want this to be about my coming out, not about politics. I’m very happy about my coming out. I’m incredibly grateful for being surrounded by such amazing people – off- and online! And I’m as proud as a man can be for taking the next step to living my life openly!

Before I go, please let me know:
1. If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community: Have you come out?
1a. If so: How did it go? I LOVE coming out stories!
1b. If not: Do you plan to?
2. Has anyone ever come out to you? If so, how did you feel?
3. Any remarks and comments on my coming out are welcome. Also, if you want to know more details, go ahead and ask! Remember that I don’t bite? 🙂

Queer shoutout? Sure! Tyler Oakley posted a little text on his coming out on Twitter two weeks back. Inspirational. And comforting. Have a read.

As always: Next #TMIishTuesday next Tuesday. If you have any questions in the meantime, just ask away. Whatever you’re curious about – I don’t bite. 🙂

Until then: Stay mighty!

Linkage:
– Coming Out Story 1-4: https://mightbedamian.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/coming-out-story-part-1-4/
– Coming Out Story 5: https://mightbedamian.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/coming-out-story-part-5/
– Connor Franta’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ConnorFranta/
– Connor Franta: Coming Out: One Year Later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgvXcEyRevs
– Felix on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_FlexiHD_
– queer.de: Osnabrück: Wirt soll Schwule rausgeworfen haben, weil sie sich küssten: http://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=28955
– Jörg Sanders for NOZ.de: Schwule nur bedingt willkommen: Osnabrücker Wirt schmeißt Schwule aus seiner Kneipe: https://www.noz.de/lokales/osnabrueck/artikel/902487/osnabruecker-wirt-schmeisst-schwule-aus-seiner-kneipe
– My Facebook: http://you-wish.com/
– The tweets of mine I mentioned: https://twitter.com/MightBeDamian/status/870656472820174848;
https://twitter.com/MightBeDamian/status/873651665467056128
– Achim on Twitter: https://twitter.com/achojo
– More of my tweets: https://twitter.com/MightBeDamian/status/873955783028989952
– Felix’s tweet: https://twitter.com/_FlexiHD_/status/873956179524943874
– Achim’s tweet: https://twitter.com/achojo/status/874408980273123328
– My coming out text, as a screenshot: https://twitter.com/MightBeDamian/status/874682405201866753
– QSO: Tyler Oakley: https://twitter.com/tyleroakley/status/873212119235280896

Further reading:
– Two more tweets of mine during the time that I didn’t link: https://twitter.com/MightBeDamian/status/872815505035460612;
https://twitter.com/MightBeDamian/status/874723431073406977
– Follow-up to the bar story: queer.de: Osnabrück: Kritik an Rauswurf von Schwulen nimmt zu: http://www.queer.de/detail.php?article_id=28986
– Troye Sivan: Coming Out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoL-MnXvK80

Oh, and here’s some self-promo:
– Last #TMIishTuesday: https://mightbedamian.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/tmi-66/
– All #TMIishTuesdays: mightbedamian.wordpress.com/tag/tmi
– More #TMIishTuesdays on personal topics: https://mightbedamian.wordpress.com/tag/me
– More #TMIishTuesdays on LGBTQ+ topics: https://mightbedamian.wordpress.com/tag/lgbtqplus
– More very cool stuff: http://www.twitter.com/mightbedamian
– Even more very cool stuff: mightbedamian.wordpress.com

 

 

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