I had suspected my friend Mike was gay… but he had a girlfriend and they were trying to make a go of it. For him though, it seemed really forced. He was never really comfortable when she was around. He was naturally flamboyant and he smothered that persona when she was around. They eventually broke up, and he even tried to kiss me once… late night, too much beer, just one of those oddball things. We pretended it never happened, and got back to the business of being friends.
He got fidgety and for about a week, drove me crazy. We went out for dinner one night, and he could barely sit still… When we got back to the house, he dramatically announced he had something to tell me. By this time, I’m very concerned that he’s going to tell me he has some terminal affliction, and that he only has 6 months to live. He starts chattering and talking in circles about his ex and the problems they had and his childhood and his grandmother and on and on and on…
I finally told him, “Get to the f**king point already!!”
He finally tells me he’s gay. And he has the most worrisome expression on his face, like he’s afraid I’m going to slap him and start screaming and calling him names.
I told him I’d suspected as much and that I didn’t care and it wouldn’t change my friendship with him. He said he told me first, because he was hoping I’d be OK with it, and that he needed someone that was going to be on his side when he told everyone else. Someone he could turn to who wouldn’t judge him when everyone else did. We both cried that day, for different reasons. He eventually came out to his family and the rest of his friends. Some took it well, others didn’t. He eventually moved away, as Montana is not a real hotbed of social connections for a gay 24yo guy, according to him. Last I knew, he has a partner and they were looking into adoption.
Your father trusted you with a very big part of his life. I can’t imagine what it’s like to hold something like that to yourself for so long.