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October 10, 2011

Ode to my Baby Brother, and Coming Out...



Today is my baby brother's 53rd birthday... How in the world have we gotten this old? Wait... Don't answer that, I'm not ready for the truth...

I have posted about my coming "out" stories before and since tomorrow (10/11) is National Coming Out Day, and today is my brother's birthday, I figured I'd write something about his reaction when I finally came out to him...

I was very concerned as to how he would think of me if I were to tell him I was gay so when I came out (actually quite inadvertently on 10/11/2005) I did not call him or talk to him for a couple of months.

As a little back story here, I have always been very proud of my little brother. He has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and passion and I so admired him for that, but I really never knew where he stood on issues (such as gay rights). Even though he moved to Cape Cod many years ago, I suspect that there are still a few conservative souls left in that State/Commonwealth... He and I became closer over the years that he was promoting Star Trek conventions all over the country and world and would call me (in Miami) and fly me to the city he was hosting a show (asking if I could help him out), but I still really never knew how accepting he would be.

On Christmas Day in 2005, he called me. By then he had probably talked to several other family members, but in his words to me that day, he wanted to hear it from me. I hemmed and hawed a little before just blurting out that I was gay and felt that I always was, even though I was married and had four kids...

I waited for his response... 

He said: "Tom, I am so proud of you, that you have done this, I'm sure it took a lot of consideration, and I am so happy for you and so proud to be your brother"...

Not at all what I expected, and to this day I still don't know why. He has always been supportive and never gone off on rants (like I sometimes do), he is the only of the 4 boys to stay married to the first person he wed. I guess by not confiding in him in those years preceding my coming out, I was the one that missed out on something...

To my little brother: Happy Birthday, thanks for being my friend, and I love you!

Over and "Out" Six years tomorrow, from Portsmouth, VA USA

5 comments:

JustAMike said...

Great story Tom. It always surprised me too when I got reactions like "I'm so happy for you" and "I'm proud of you". The most surprising reaction I've had though (and I got it a few times from different people) was "I am honored that you told me. I know it took a lot of courage!"

So "hats off" to your brother! It's heartwarming to know you've maintained a close bond even after coming out.

Bob said...

Hats off indeed.
The only response to someone coming out should be "I love you."

Jay M. said...

Very cool. I am still trying to decide when/how to come out to my siblings. It will be easier now that dad is gone, but my oldest (6 years younger than me) is the one I worry about. My sister (12 years younger) won't care, she'll laugh and probably say "I figured". My youngest brother (7 years younger than me) is a bit of an enigma, but I can't imagine he'd do anything but shrug. I just gotta get up the nerve. Oddly enough, while your brother is the only one married to the first woman, I am the only one not to have had a child out of wedlock!

Peace <3
Jay

Bill Dameron said...

A very sweet story. I did not have one negative coming out experience. Basically everyone just wanted me to be happy. Your brother loves. He wants you to be happy and that is the way it should be.

BosGuy said...

What a touching and loving post. You've made my day sharing this story.

I'm very close to my little brother as well and fortunately had a similar experience when I told all three of my siblings.

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