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A Coming Out Letter Can Set You Free

Journey

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Within days, I became very emotionally attached, almost neurotically so. I didn't feel comfortable revealing my feelings to anyone else but him, and he didn't feel the same way. The weeks that followed multiplied and intensified my feelings, until we were no longer talking, and I was tossed between love and hate, happiness and depression.

In a class journal entry around that time I wrote "My oppression doesn't come from without, it comes from within... Every time I want to change, every time I think I’m going to become the person I’ve always hoped to become, something pulls me back...I try to end the oppression, but I can’t. I try to overcome, but it’s just so hard." What was pulling me back was lies, and the person I wanted to become was a happy, well-adjusted man. But I didn’t know this at the time.

Reading this entry to my teacher prompted her to try and get me some help. Later that day the school nurse came to my door. We went to her office, and within minutes, through a torrent of tears, I revealed everything to her. She set me up with an off-campus therapist.

Coming out alive

I had decided to tell my parents, and as a practice, I was told to write a letter explaining to them why I was in therapy. (I probably would never have told them if they didn’t have to pay for it.) I wasn’t supposed to actually give them the letter of course, but I had always been much better at expressing myself on paper.

That following summer was a learning experience. I learned who I truly was inside, and let go of a lot of the facades I had placed on myself. I didn’t come out to everyone, but I knew that I could. I had told my parents, and as far as I was concerned I was out. After all, my parents were the only people whose opinion mattered to me. If I told any one else, and they didn’t like it, well, too bad. Their loss, really. That letter had set me free.

Through that summer, and the years that followed, I went through a change, again. Actually I look at it as a reversion. I began to rediscover my youth, my childhood, and the happiness I had felt. I made my way through the darkness and awkwardness of my teen years, emerging happy, proud, and alive.

Now I had to find a boyfriend.

Back to Mark's Coming Out Story

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