I knew I wanted my next post to be on friendship and yesterday, it came to me that I not only wanted to write about friendship but an unsung hero in my book. This weekend I looked at the PRIDE (LGBTQ) Student Union Facebook event for its general body meeting and I flashed back to my first PRIDE meeting! A year ago this meeting marked the true beginning of my coming out and the beginning of a friendship that would help me so much.
There are certain people who come into your life to directly impact you in ways you couldn’t have imagined. I first met Janessa when I was checking in for my room when I moved to Tallahassee. I didn’t know why she stuck out to me but she did. A few weeks later, I nervously sat in the PRIDE meeting fearful of making something I kept secret so vulnerable; furthermore, the possibility of people I cared about one day not liking me for who I am. As I sit there, eventually in walks Janessa and I had an “aha” moment in my mind: “You’re gay too.” She saw me and gave me the “aha” look of you’re here too.
Janessa is one of those people who will never fully know how valuable she was to me. First and foremost, she is one of the coolest, most likable people I know and she makes me laugh when we hang out. She brought that same humor when I needed it most. She helped me be comfortable with who I am by wanting to know about me and by telling me about herself, her family and her coming out. She helped me know that I had nothing to be ashamed about but also prepared me for what could be a bad situation or a great situation. She was a friend in every aspect a friend should be.
I will never forget when we talked about how I planned on coming out. I told her about it and about wanting to wait for the right time. She told me you know how the story goes about waiting for the right time. Monday comes and the person say, “Well it’s Monday . . . I don’t want to ruin their week.” Friday comes and he says, “Well I don’t want to ruin their weekend,” so there never is a right time. She was so right and I still smile and laugh a little to this day when I think about it.
When I had my first college crush, she was there to offer advice. When something happened that added to her coming out, she told me about it. When I had a new fear, she was there to talk it out with me. She was truly the support, the smile and the source of humor I needed when I didn’t even know it.
As I learned from Oprah, we all want to connect with someone and be embraced for who we truly are. When that happens, we feel liberated and loved. Janessa embraced me for who am I and helped liberate me into becoming the even happier person I am today. I hope that I can deliver this same impact to others in my day-to-day life.
I hope you have enjoyed this post! Feel free to comment, email me, or ask me questions anonymously at http://formspring.com/jarrydboyd.