The following post is from Chicago Pride. It was written by Terrence Chappell.

By: Terrence Chappell

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) started in 1988 to celebrate “coming out” and to raise awareness of the LGBT community and civil rights movement. It was the brainchild of psychologist Robert Eichberg, the founder of a personal growth workshop, and Jean O’Leary, a gay activist in Los Angeles. They opted for October 11, as it was the one-year anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. That’s the history. 

I never saw a point in coming out because I never dated anyone, girl or boy.  I mean I hooked up with girls, sorry no gold star for me, and messed around with a few guys. But I didn’t take anyone or any of it seriously. If I wasn’t dating anyone seriously, why do I need to come out? I mean I wouldn’t come out and say, hey I’m banging girls mom, just as an FYI, so why would I come out and say hey I’m hooking up with guys. But all of that was before I fell in love. All of that was before Andrei.  Fuck. I’m in love… with a man.

After months of careful pronoun usage and delaying, I decided that it was time to come out to my mom. Things were serious with Andrei, and I wanted him to come to Thanksgiving dinner. I called home then hung up before the phone could even ring. I remember pacing around my college dorm room nervously. I couldn’t decide how I wanted to come out. Do I just rip the band-aid off and say hey I’m gay. Do I have a slow dramatic lead in? Do I play in the kiddy pool for a bit and say I’m bisexual? However I decide to come out, it’s going to be awkward. I know the kind of woman my mom is, and so I wasn’t so much afraid of her disowning me or crying about it. I just didn’t want it to be awkward and a bunch of questions. I can’t take awkward. Well, seven hang-ups and three MTV Crib shows later I was on the phone with my mom.

Me: “Hey mom.”

Mom: “We don’t have any money for you.”

Me: “I’m not calling for money.” (Nervous laugh)

Mom: “Oh really? You mean you just called just to talk to your good ole mom?”

Me: (Nervous laugh) Yea…

Mom: Wait you’re not in trouble are you?

Me: No!

Mom: (Laughs) What’s up?

Me: So, you know Thanksgiving is coming up, right?

Mom: Yeeees?

Awkward silence.

Mom: Is that all?

Me: No, there’s something I wanted to tell you.

Mom: Ok.

Long awkward silence.

Mom: Are you still there?

Me: Yea, I’m still here.

Mom: What did you have to tell me?

Even longer awkward silence.

Mom: Are you in a place where you’re getting bad service?

Me: No, I’m here.

Mom: Ok. Well you know you can tell me anything, and I’ll still love you.

Me: Um, Andrea, my girlfriend is really Andrei, a Russian man.

Mom: You know I was just telling your father how I think Andrea is really a man. You want him to come to Thanksgiving dinner?

Me: Time out. Dad knows?

Mom: Well your father is a space cadet, so he didn’t know anything until I told him.

Me: What did he say?

Mom: Not much of anything, just ok, and then started watching his SyFy.

Me: Oh.

Mom: I’ll set an extra place setting at the table for Andrei. Does he have any allergies I need to know about?

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