I decided that this past Christmas was the perfect time to come out to my family. Everywhere I turned I saw signs reinforcing my decision. Was it the sparkling gold and silver lights? the rainbow-colored balls? the carolers telling me to don my 'gay apparel'? In anycase, I did; and this is my coming out story.
My plan was to gather all of my family in one room and do a big dramatic revelation: 10-page letter with tears and emotional gesticulation. I was told that Gemini's are naturals at being drama queens. Then I realized how it might make certain members of my family uncomfortable. Scrap the letter. My new plan was to try and get the biggest reaction of each one alone, and compare the results. To get the most honest reaction, I would 'come out' without much leading up to it.
On Christmas Day, the first person I told was my sister. Read her reaction [+/-]
Me: I need to tell you something. I'm gay.
Her: Uhm. Okay. (pause, hand touching face) I still love you.
Result: Although the reaction was semi-boring, I could still tell she was holding back something. Not homophobia, but perhaps compassion; almost as if she was worried of the hardships I'd face as a gay person.
Current mind state: A little nervous. Coming out to my sister turned out fairly well; not bad enough to shake up my confidence.
As we were about to meet with extended family for brunch, I knew I had to tell my mom before we left. Being nervous from the first 'coming out', I procrastinated until we were literally out the door. Read her reaction [+/-]
Me: Today is Christmas, and I wanted to let you know that I love you. (Arms open up for a kiss on the cheek and a big hug) And because I love you, I need to tell you that I'm gay.
Mom: (hugs tighter for three beats, then pulls back with tears in eyes) I hope you change your mind.
Me: (expecting such a reaction, holds composure) Okay. (What I really wanted to say was, 'Well, let's see how easy it is for you to be a lesbian.')
Mom: (sniffles) You know you're my only son.
Me: (heart breaks, but still holds composure) I know, and you would want me to be happy right?
Mom: Yes, you're right. (goes in for a hug)
Me: (whispering) And this makes me happy, because I don't have to hide it anymore.
Mom: (hugs tighter, then pulls back and wipes tears)
Me: And besides, I can always adopt.
Mom: It's not the same.
Me: (near breaking point, ends the conversation) I know.
Result: Reacted in a traditional Chinese manner: realizes that her first born son won't have a son of his own. Although there were tears, there was no overtly-dramatic, irrational behavior from either side.
Current mind state: More nervous. Coming out to my mom took a big hit to my confidence. Now I worried if other family members will say the things that my mom did that broke my heart.
Then my dad called like he normally does on Christmas Day. Read his reaction [+/-]
Me: Merry Christmas!
Dad: Merry Christmas! (blah blah blah)
Me: You know... (blah blah blah)
Dad: That's good.
Me: Oh, one more thing. I told Mom and (my sis) already; but I want you to know I'm gay.
Dad: Okay. Whatever makes you happy.
Result: Exactly how I expected him to respond. Yes, he's the one that asked if I had a boyfriend when I was still in denial.
Current mind state: Still nervous from mom event. Coming out to dad wasn't a concern.
Christmas night, we all gathered at my aunt's house for dinner. Two uncles, three aunts, and four cousins. I worried how I was going to do this, and ultimately decided not to tell my extended family adults yet. In other words, I chickened out.
However, I did tell the two oldest cousins (24 and 20); but only after I had 5 glasses of wine to prep myself. First was E, 20 yr old female. Read her reaction [+/-]
Me: Hey, I need to tell you something. I think it's important for you to know.. (she starts smiling at this point) ..what? You know what I'm going to say, don't you.
Her: Yea, that your gay?
Me: Yea. I knew you'd probably be suspicious. Why else would you tell me there was a gay and lesbian club in your high school.
Her: I knew when we went to Florida and you bought this tight little red woman's t-shirt. No straight guy buys something like that for themselves.
Me: Uhm.. I didn't buy a red shirt in Florida.
Me: No. I only wear mens' clothes. And there's always Abercrombie.
Result: That didn't count. She thought I was gay for the wrong reason.
Current mind state: Coming out to E made me confused, in addition to being nervous. Or it could have been the wine.
And finally there was M, 24 yr old male; his girlfriend was there, so I told them both. Read their reaction [+/-]
Me: (still tipsy) I think you're important to me, so I have to let you know that I'm gay.
Him: (pause) and?
Me: Oh.. uhm.. that's it.
Girlfriend: Aww.. it's fine (hug). We still love you.
Me: I know (gives Him a hug).
Him: (does the manly 'pelvis away' hug)
Result: Pelvis avoiding hug was a little surprising, but we don't normally hug, so that could just be how he normally hugs people.
Current mind state: Relieved that I was done. Disappointed that I didn't have the courage to tell all of my extended family.
I came out to everyone I could handle reactions from; and they turned out okay. I know this makes me lucky because my family still loves me; and that I'm not disowned and living on the street. That was my Christmas Day with my family.