Sam, in his own words: “Outside of the literal definition of what being gay means, I’m sure every gay man or woman operationally defines it according to their own unique experiences. For me, being gay means liberation & honesty. Like many others, prior to coming out I had decided that life would be easier if I pretended to be straight. However, it was a completely miserable and lonely existence. Once I mustered the courage to ‘come out’ life was one hundred times better. It was an emancipation. I was free to be authentic and honest with the people that I love and care deeply about. Every meaningful friendship or acquaintance I’ve acquired since coming out has been so much stronger than the ones I made before, because now I am honest with myself and the people around me.
The biggest challenge I face is when my idealism is confronted with the current reality in the world. I dream of world where I can go anywhere and hold my partners hand, and if while doing so we entered the scope of vision of strangers, it would be as mundane and commonplace as the dog poop on the sidewalks on the Upper West Side. Many times, I go about life thinking that people no longer find gay people peculiar, until I walk the streets in Brooklyn, The Bronx, and in some areas of uptown Manhattan, and quickly become reminded by the glares that I could still get my ass whooped….still…in 2013. I want to live in a world where I can hold my partners hand without being afraid.
The gay community in New York is pretty vibrant and diverse. There’s lots to do and with a ton of great people. Although, at times, I think the community could do more to appreciate the strength of the diversity it possesses.
I came out to my family via e-mail at 3 o’clock in the morning. The subject line read: I’M GAY!!!. I have 13 siblings and being born & raised in the way of the Lord in Detroit, Michigan, you can probably imagine how much fun it was for me once my family started checking their emails later that morning
I have an amazing family that loves and supports everything I do. Although my worldview is different from theirs, and they are clear about what they believe God says about homosexuality, they’ve become LGBT allies and will be at my gay wedding. They’ll undoubtedly be the ones dancing barefoot on the dance floor. I love them. I am lucky. We’ve all grown a lot as a result of my coming out. I know that many other gay men and women often face rejection from their families, I’ve had an opposite experience.”