Now my whole high school class will know I’m gay


The Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. Constance and her husband were seated at a bar table in the center and our party was at a table to the right, right under them.

The Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. Constance and her husband were seated at a bar table in the center and our party was at a table to the right, right under them.

This week my partner “Van” celebrates his birthday and we rushed home from South Carolina on Sunday to get the celebration started with a  brunch with friends at Woodberry Kitchen, one of our favorite restaurants in Baltimore.

We were waiting on our table when I glanced across the room and there was “Constance,” a woman  I have known since we were in sixth grade. She was having brunch with her husband, a retired professional football player.

“Shit,” I thought. “Of all people I got to run into I have to run into Constance.”

Let me tell you why. Constance, who today is an instructor at a community college, is a busybody and bossy. She has been that way since she was a flat-chested, pre-teen wearing pigtails and saddle shoes.

Okay, this is a big, crowded restaurant, I rationalized. So the hostess will probably seat us far from Constance and they won’t even notice us.

Nope. No such luck. We got seated at a table near the bar right in front of them.

I wasn’t going to spoil Van’s birthday brunch, especially since he had hung with my mother and I like a champ last week after my stepfather’s death. Besides, God had my back. I was going to man up. And so I did.

I walked over to her. “Hey Constance!”

“Oh, Immanuel! It’s so good to see you.”

And we chatted about our kids and mutual friends and I told her I was having lunch with friends. And I sat down with Van and tried to act normal. But she kept glancing over. And leaning over and talking to her husband excitedly.

I mean, my friends and I are not flaming. But it was no mistaking we were a gay party. And her eyes were wide with curiosity. And every once in a while she would call over to me and urge me to try the dark ale or not order the bacon because it was too tough.

Constance was a big gossip from way back. An hour after brunch ended at 2 p.m. she would be on the phone with half my high school and middle school class, informing them that the same Immanuel who had married his gorgeous college sweetheart and had two beautiful kids and a big house in the suburbs, two cars in the garage and a dog was now a…faggot.

So I took the bull by the horns. Fuck it. I wasn’t going out like a bitch. I’m still a proud man. I just happen to be gay.

“Hey Constance come over and let me introduce you to my friends,” I said.

She practically knocked a waiter down getting over.

“This is Gerald and Michael and Harvey and Mitchell,” I began. “And this is my partner Van, who is celebrating his birthday.”

Baby girl didn’t miss a beat.

Constance started texting like crazy. Photo courtesy of tellyouall.com.

Constance started texting like crazy. Photo courtesy of tellyouall.com.

“Oh, Happy Birthday Van,” she gushed. “And it’s so nice to meet everybody.”

“Nice to meet you too, Constance,” everybody said.

And she chatted awhile and took her ass back to her seat. And we went about our brunch.

Still, I noticed her texting furiously on her phone.

“Yep, Facebook is going to be interesting on Monday,” I thought. “Cuz she is going to tell everybody.”

But you know. I really didn’t give a fuck. I pay my own bills. I was living my life. I’m happy. Constance can kiss my ass.

Besides, I had some dirt on her. I knew her husband, who is at least 10 years older and overweight like many retired football players, wasn’t doing his duty in bed anymore and she had taken a few lovers to get dick. But hey she was married to a rich baller so she stayed.

But deep down inside I knew I wouldn’t trade dirt for dirt if it came to that.

Eventually she and hubby got up and left. “We have to hang out soon, Immanuel,” she said, smiling sweetly.

“Yeah, right,” I thought. “Don’t try to act all phony. I know you are getting ready to put that knife in my back.”

That night I was surprised to get a text message from her.

She said I shouldn’t worry about the situation at the restaurant and she was glad I was living my true self and was happy. And she  did want to come hang out with me.

And you know. She did really seem sincere.

I smiled, turned over and went to bed.

Q: Readers, have you been outed unexpectedly? Tell us how that happened?

 

 

16 thoughts on “Now my whole high school class will know I’m gay

  1. Another nice post Immanuel. Thank you again for stopping to collect your thoughts and share them. You bump into people because the world is so small. What is more important ‘than what Constance thought’ was the community and fellowship that you had that day with ‘Van’ and others in your party. People certainly ‘move on,’ grow and evolve once high school is done and over. Sometimes we change in ways we couldn’t have imagined in 20 or 30 years time. With things like Facebook and Twitter, the world will get smaller and smaller, and will allow you and others access to each other. Keep living life – and keep using condoms since you ‘get around’ ( wink, wink)

    • Thanks for the kind words and yes folks do grow. I’m sure Constance and I will hang out this summer.

      Oh and condoms are a must! And I “get around” about the same as many…I just write about it lol.

      Have a good day.

  2. OMG! Just yesterday my kids mother did this by accident, I thought my stepmother already knew but apparently she didn’t and my ex said something like, as in ” so you met his friend”?. She said yes, but didn’t put it together that we were a couple. I freaked! Because it’s my story to tell, in my way. My ex said it wasn’t an issue, calm down she is OK with it, then you always hear that old saying “streets talk”, they do. Who cares, it’s your life be true.

  3. I have a less than popular opinion on this subject matter and being a guy who is “not out” will try to validate why I think it’s less dramatic to keep that “don’t ask don’t tell” approach. Remember when we watch cowboys and indians movies how the Indians circle the wagon train before they make their move. Well, be patient because I’m going to do the same thing. Lol. I was in church last Sunday and we as a church was praying about two young brothers who were involved in a really bad car accident. They both had to be cut out of the car and flown to the hospital. A lot of tears were flowing in the church. After the service, we gathered around the church biggest gossiper and she was in tears telling a crowd of us that one of the guys have a broken back, broken pelvis, two broken legs, neck broken and two broken arms. She said his brother had a broken back also and two broken legs. We as a group was tramatized after hearing this sad news. I immediately left the church along with brother william and went straight to the hospital. It was a long quiet drive fearing what we was about to see. To make a long story short both brothers were doing fine with nothing broken. They had a few cuts and bruises. When we got there they were talking, eating and walking around. Their family were there talking about how lucky the guys were to escape any bad life- threatening injury….People in general loves train wrecks…. When a person die people can’t wait to get on the phone to call or text someone and the more dramatic the death is the juicier the story is….My thing is why satisfy or make someone day by telling someone who don’t ask about your sexual orientation. It’s none of their business and has nothing to do with being ashamed of who you are. You already know who you are. Society and religious haters created a atmosphere where it’s not acceptable to be who you are so I say play the game and not satisfy their curiosity. Everybody think everyone is gay anyway so I would introduce my partner as my roommate and to me that’s a 50/50 answer and will drive them crazy trying to figure it out. Lol. In closing I think when a person tell family and friends and they say to your face that it is cool, be who you are, and we love you anyway, and thanks for telling me….Then as soon as you turn your back they are on the phone trashing you, talking about you like a dog..Only good thing about it is that you made their day. They can feel better about their fucked up life and focus on your life!!!!!! This is just my opinion.

    • So true Marcus, I usually don’t make my sexual orientation known, I play in a band on a regular basis and before I decided to somewhat b open about my preference for the brothas, I had women too. I don’t walk around with a rainbow flag on my back, but I won’t deny it either. We all have to live our lives, and everyone including religious fake judgmental ppl have things in our lives were dealing with. It does feel liberating though to come out when opportunity arises.

      • Marcus thanks for the comment. You know I love you brother and you keep me in stitches relating your antics and those of your cousin. I have to agree with jailovzmen. I can’t hide my relationship with Van. That is rude and disrespectful to him. Plus I’m at the point where I just don’t care. And believe me, as I wrote Constance got a hella lot of dirt on her too. Unlike her, though, I have nothing to be ashamed about. However, I understand you live in a relatively smaller community, are DL and need to keep folks out of your business. My mother did the same thing when I attended my stepfather’s funeral and Van was there. Some of the folks in South Carolina are very homophobic so Ma advised to just say he is a family friend. Because trust and believe if someone had said something unkind about us she would have fought them like a tiger which would have made the funeral a dramafest. Besides it wasn’t about Van and me. I was there to honor my stepfather and support my mother and that’s what I did.

      • My husband and I are legally married, so no way will I disrespect him and conceal it. Now, not everyone has a need to know that I’m married to a male or to a female if that were the case, but if we’re familiar enough with each other where we’re talking about what we’re going to be doing over the weekend, I will say “My husband and I will be doing this, that or the other”

        I live 50 miles away from where I grew up but I haven’t been back to a high school reunion since 1988 (10 year) and I’m only in contact with one classmate from a class of about 640 students. I’m not in contact with anyone from my college days in Texas. I’m not wasting time and energy on Facebook or Twitter either.

        I’ve just moved on with my life and left that era behind me. It wasn’t a bad time for me, but I have grown and changed since the late 70’s and I have nothing in common with those people anymore. If they somehow “discovered” that I’m gay, good for them.

        @Marcus: Your story about the big mouth gossip talking about the accident victims reminds me of the game “Operator” that we played as kids. The story starts out one way and after it’s been passed on several times it has completely morphed into something completely different!

      • Thanks for the comment PDQ! Many members of my family and former classmates and coworkers live within 30 miles so it’s inevitable I will run into them. So I can’t hide Van under a cabbage leaf lol.

  4. Reading this felt like I was reading a book or watching one of those movies centered around gay characters. I could see the scene playing out in my head.
    You’re very brave Immanuel. I would’ve just acted like I didn’t see her.

  5. Interesting development with Van and Constance…… You are very lucky to be able to love who you love. Cherish what you have Manny!!

  6. I think at yaw age that was probably the most appropriate thing to say. I mean what could she say. And if you knew her since the 6th grade everybody probably already knew u was gay. That’s probably why she sent you that text.

    I got outed twice in one year when I was younger. The first was by my ex girlfriend. We was on the outs and she was playing on my phone. I thought I hit the talk button on the phone to end the call but I didn’t. The bul who I was dealing with she knew him. She knew us to be good friends. He was at my apartment and she herd him saying how he wanted to be with me and and all this shit. They both was getting on my nerves. But she stayed and we had a baby togeather and everything. Ironically she was the longest relationship I ever had and she found out in the beginning of our relationship.

    Then their was the party line back in the day. I use to call the straight side to talk to the Bisexual guys. I happened to get into a conversation with my cousin. He recognized my voice and hit me up. Bout time I recognized his voice it was too late. He told my cousins but my cousins didn’t make a big deal out of it but my guy cousins stop coming around me as much. We was all tight coming up.

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