This month I’ve reached my three year anniversary of being out of the closet as gay and three years feels like a truly special place personally.
For the past few months the thought often toyed around my mind of how I’ve never talked to my maternal grandmother about being gay, even though I’ve had conversations with the rest of my family. My thought process has been that I would explicitly talk with her when I seriously dated someone, as if to make it more real. But lately I felt I didn’t want to have any regrets in my mind. Waiting feels inauthentic and fear based.
The first night back for Thanksgiving I was talking with my mom and said how there was something I wanted to bring up. I went on to say how I had thought about if she had ever talked to my grandmother about me being gay. My mom immediately busts out laughing and says, “Child please! What do they say? You’re three years too late!!” From there she talked about how when I first came out she talked to my grandmother about it and how my grandmother was nonchalant and said how she already knew!
In that moment, I felt my heart open up, because as I come to the end of college, my grandmother constantly brings up how proud of me she is. But to have someone you deeply love, that has known you your whole life tell you how proud of you they are AND know they’ve always known the real you… That feels like love. To be accepted and loved without ever being questioned is the greatest gift.
With that I fully understand the difference that not having to actually come out makes.
Three years out feels special for me. Not everyone’s experience is the same at all. However, at three years I claim all parts of my identity in any space whether at work, out with friends or online. There isn’t that hesitation of what will people think. I’ve learned to step into who I am even in situations where it doesn’t feel the most comfortable. At three years I can call out my Miami Instacrush to people like my heterosexual counterparts. At three years I’m now aware enough to think about how my current and future work environment will collide with my sexuality. At three years I can hold a rainbow flag in front of other students on campus without worrying about what they will think. At three years I know I could bring a guy home without the worry of will I be accepted, because of the person I love.
Not all are so fortunate. But I thank the heavens that at three years out I feel like a whole person developing.