Ask the lesbian (Nov. 21)

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Dear readers,

Several of you have asked me about coming out and how to do it. The typical precautions that you can read off of the back of a pamphlet are fine, nevertheless here is something that offers a little more.

Oh, how does one come out? You can be funny or you can be serious. You can blurt it out or beat around the bush (pardon my pun). You can come clean or you can stay in the closet. Decisions, decisions. I myself have tried every possible combination and had just about every single reaction to my coming; shock, despair, indifference, acceptance, tolerance and mockery. Most importantly I’ve gotten support.

Coming out to new friends should be no big deal. They’re new — If they don’t like it then they can get lost. No attachment or life long camaraderie. It’s telling your bestest, closer, longest friends that really causes the palms to sweat and the heart to pound. To ease the anxieties of the big moment let’s do some practice drills shall we?

Scenario 1- The good friend

Closet homosexual: I have something important to tell you. I’m gay.

Loving and accepting friend: Wow, good for you. What courage to come out. I’m so proud of you. I love you for who you are.

Scenario 2- The indifferent friend

Closet homosexual: Hey, can you pass the popcorn? By the way, I’m gay.

Indifferent friend: Hey, whatever, here’s the popcorn.

Scenario 3- The crazy religious fanatic who hands out anti-everything pamphlets in front of the church on Gerard and Jarvis.

Closet homosexual: I’ve been hiding this for a while but I finally have the strength to tell you- I’m gay.

Crazy (while groping a cross and fervidly chanting in a sacred tongue): Blasphemy! Get away from me with your tainted soul. May you burn for your sins.

There, now that’s not so bad, is it? There is no right or wrong way to come out. Just give it your best shot in the way most comfortable for you. Worst case scenario is that you lose someone who obviously isn’t really your friend if they reject you for who you are. Cut your loses and forge onward. Most likely, you’ll find more friends than crazies. Oh yes, and one more thing. Never tell your grandmother that you’re gay right after her heart surgery. Never come out to your friends in the shower room at the gym. And never, I repeat never, tell your significant other that you’re gay when you’re drunk other that you’re gay when you’re drunk at a restaurant where steak knives are readily available.

Good luck from the other side of the closet,


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