This post is to celebrate “Coming out day” and to acknowledge the courage it takes for people to come out. I am fully aware that this post is a few days late but I figured this post is better late than never.
The following extract is from a book I am writing and spoken by a character who is a part of the LGBT community. I hope you enjoy …
My entire world collapsed when the news of your passing reached my ears. I watched my heart shatter, unable to do anything to prevent its inevitable destruction. In writing this letter I am filled with an undeniable guilt. I know that it is selfish of me to use this final goodbye to speak about myself and for that I apologise but it is something I must do. When I heard about your demise I feared that I had lost my final opportunity to be honest with you and that feeling was horrendous and so when this opportunity arose I had to take it.
I am gay.
Thinking about it, I cannot believe that I spent night and day worrying about how to tell you such a simple thing but now it is out it feels as if such a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. When I allow myself to think of all of the missed opportunities my heart fills with the greatest of sorrow. But there never seemed to be a ‘right moment’. Your mood was either foul and violent, making you unpredictable and me petrified or your mood was light and gay (no pun intended) and I wished not to ruin it for everyone else. With hind site there was no ‘right moment’ it was just another excuse for me not to be honest with you, or myself. I was scared for I didn’t know how to face the torment which awaited me, I knew not how to face the judgement of others and of you. So instead, I chose to live in denial. Even after meeting someone who I could see myself loving, someone who I imagined myself growing old with, I continued pretending to be someone who I wasn’t for the sake of my dignity. Come to think of it pretending to be someone I am not is far more undignified.
I have stumbled out of the closet and landed face first into the mud. Honestly, I wouldn’t have chosen to come out any other way. I’d like to think that you would be proud of me. Honestly I know it would have taken some time, you would have panicked and wondered what people would think of the almighty Edward Westmore when they discovered he had a gay son but eventually I like to think you would have come round. You never let me down Dad, and for that I am nothing but grateful.
Dad, losing you has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to face and is far more difficult to overcome than being gay. The moment I realised that the man I had spent my whole life looking up to, and thinking of as superman, was not indestructible was soul crushing and has destroyed me.
With honesty in my words I can promise that this letter has given me peace and maybe even a little closure. All I have ever wanted was for you to love me and for your acceptance and after writing this letter I feel as if you do. Dad I will always love you and I know that, even when you are six-foot under, you love me too.
Goodbye Dad, I will never forget you.