Kevin, in his own words: “The “coming out” story is such a powerful narrative. It is what I can always identify with and connect to in other gay people.
Having been raised in the Christian faith it’s easy for me to draw strong connections between my “coming out” story and my salvation experience. A salvation experience is a defining and pivotal moment in the life of a Christian. It’s a conscious belief in and acceptance of the Son of God. When I “came out” you could say the experience was a similar one. “Coming out” became a part of me. It was another way I might identify and describe myself.
I was 23 when I told my mother I was gay. It happened on a Sunday morning over phone before a weekend shift at a second job. There were tears. I was late for my shift.
For me, “coming out” was much more than an admission to same-sexuality. It was existential. From that place of brokenness and questioning, I believe I chose for the very first time in my life. Not that I necessarily chose to be gay, but that I CHOSE to create meaning for myself from this new place of understanding.
In “coming out” I realized even in the absence of my strong ties to family and friends and an inextricable link to God through faith I STILL AM. At first, I felt alone in this realization. Terribly alone. But then the life I knew began to come back into focus. A new level of consciousness emerged. It was still terrifying but now wonderful too. I am humbled by this transition every day. What am I to make of it? Who am I now to become in light of it?
Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge for me has been the acceptance of myself. I often tell friends when we finally break through the walls of social and political norms and find ourselves more on the inside than on the out our work as gay people will finally begin.
Gay people spend so much energy fighting the fight. It’s essential, yes. But I have a hunch (and this may be me projecting here). Our activism keeps us productively distracted from a deeper level of self-acceptance.
DC is a big small town. I love being able to walk to and from anywhere and spot a friend or acquaintance in passing. DC’s gay community is very much the same way.
There is definitely a conservative vibe that threads the gay community. We like decorum. We like posturing. We strut as gay men do when it’s called for. But get past all that smoke and mirrors and I find there is more in common than not. We are all searching. We are awake, but not quite conscious. We are getting there. Finding our way. And it’s perfect ☺.”