We had a family pow-wow in Hawaii. One of those sit around a dinner table and discuss slightly uncomfortable topics like… coming out. I came out to my immediate family as a MM romance author in stages. I told my husband first, then my oldest son who happens to be gay. My daughter wondered about the name Lane Hayes showing up on occasion so I ended up telling her before the family trip. That left one more kid I needed to come out to. I knew he’d be fine with it and certainly mature enough, but guess what? It still wasn’t easy. I’m not ashamed in the slightest but I’m reserved because I know not everyone gets it. Hell, most people don’t get romance novels period. Add two men to the equation and they simply don’t know what to say. Their problem not mine. However, when you’re “coming out” to people who matter, their response means something. Of course, my son was fine with it. In fact, he told me he was inspired by my admission. Needless to say, it was a cool moment.
Here’s where it gets trickier. Writing under a pseudonym is one thing, living a life in the closet is another. When we sat down as a family, my news was one topic but my oldest son also shared aloud for the first time with his brother and sister that he was gay. They weren’t surprised. Your family and friends know you better than you credit them. However, it didn’t make his speech any less poignant for him. Each time he’s said the words “I’m gay” he’s told me it gets easier in one sense but in another it makes him feel very vulnerable. I suppose fear of rejection is the cause but I hate that he feels that way. It’s unfair. I’m pretty sure I’ve never once uttered the words “I’m straight” to anyone. It’s understood. It’s a non-event. No one cares. So why does a gay person have to tell anyone their sexual orientation? The answer is simple… Empowerment. Own who you are and be proud. Say it over and over again and be empowered by the wealth of strength you possess. It’s a truth, not a cross to bear. Be proud of your truth.
Since our family dinner, my son has gone on to tell two other family members. He’ll tackle the extended family and friends at his own pace. Slow is fine. The important thing is that he does it. Not for anyone’s sake but his own. He needs to own who he is and be empowered by it. I’m unbelievably proud of him. There is nothing better than witnessing your child’s journey in progress. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth having is. However, it will be worthwhile. xo Lane