I’m Coming Out (Whether I Like It or Not)


So I’m down in Fort Lauderdale for the holidays with “Van” and I missed a holiday brunch back home with some of my high school class.

I was touched that they took the time to send a video message to my cellphone to show I was missed.

“Hey Immanuel!,” they yelled in unison.

But later that day a close friend of mine who knows I am out, “Ariah,” called   to tell me I was the object of gossip at the event.

“People are wondering if you are gay,” Ariah said. “I just kept my mouth shut and didn’t offer any information.”

But it seemed like some of my classmates knew. Maybe I was seen out at a club or bar. Others, it seemed, were doing detective work on my Facebook page for clues.

I was too fit for a man my age and was at the gym alot, they said. I dressed too well. I knew how to cook. I gardened. I never posted a photo of myself on a date with a female.

So I must be gay now.

One of my classmates at the brunch who I was really close to (her Mom is like my second Mom) was upset I didnt tell her and privately texted to say she wanted to talk to me as soon as I got back to Maryland.

Oh brother. When it rains it pours.

My best buddy “Barry” also called while I was in Florida.

“Where are you?” he asked.

I was at Hunters bar in Ft. Lauderdale’s very gay Wilton Manors neighborhood , enjoying karaoke with friends.

“I’m in Florida with friends.”

“Who?”

Barry had met Van and we had hung out with him and his girlfriend. I thought Barry knew. But he didn’t.

“Look Barry  I’m with Van and we are in a relationship. You know I’m gay now.”

He didn’t miss a beat.

“Look you are my best friend and I love you. I don’t care what you do.”

Then he talked about why he disliked my ex-wife and how she wasn’t good to me. Then he told me he wanted to talk to Van and and they talked awhile before Van handed the phone back to me.

“Look, we all have to hang out soon,” Barry said. And we got off the phone.

Van and I talked about these developments. I am really tired of hiding him from my straight friends.

So while in Florida we had portraits done by celebrity photographer Duane Cramer, who is a friend of ours. We took the photos by a canal in Wilton Manors.

When they are ready I will post one on Facebook. I won’t announce anything I’ll just put it there.

And I’ll leave it up to them to figure it out.

29 thoughts on “I’m Coming Out (Whether I Like It or Not)

  1. One of the great things about getting older is that the people and things that we make matter so much when very young WON’T and DON’T matter in 20- or 30- years time. People move on with their lives. They get into the grind of their own relationships, marriages, children, work lives and more likely than not are not obsessed with the goings on of the kid who sat behind them in Earth Science class in the 11th grade. Since these people ( high school classmates) are NOT FAMILY and are NOT blood they do not need details about your personal life UNLESS they are open and willing to connect you to a new opportunity or ‘open a door’ for you. In time, your social circle naturally changes because you have matured and ‘outgrown’ most people (from your youth) with age. Even in the gay ‘circle’ you have to pick and chose your friends wisely and drop kick those who need to be ‘let go.’ Nice of you to share a reflection from past, Immanuel. Feel good about how you have evolved and grown personally over the years. Let your children know that you love them, and support whatever they aspire to in life. While sex is fun and ‘changing teams’ (going gay) will introduce you to new ‘characters’ along the way, focus on preserving your own health and work each day to create a happy home.

  2. Less and less “on the down-low”… maybe you’re going to have to “update” it with something along the lines of “high and mighty-proud”. Some more or less random thoughts for you, just as we like closeted people to “come out” and when famous people do we claim that it is good for the young and for other closeted people, the whole “It Gets Better” public announcements… your going public can accomplish the same at the local level of high school and past community. You also help us all as you live and share your open relationship, as you plot your course between a “private life” and this blog of your… excuse my pun… fucking adventures. Down-low? Not any more. Private?! You amaze me with the balls it takes to post pictures of your incredible cock up hungry holes at parties that I can only imagine. Thank you for sharing stories of men who are still SO down-low that I struggle with my moral outrage as I can’t help but think about their wives and families, the costs to all involved not just living a double life, but living a lie. As for the “men of the cloth”, especially the pastors, there is an added level of hypocrisy. And if they are literally fucking around with the youth of their congregation, how young? How many of those “kids” are left not just royally fucked, but royally fucked up. By being so out here on this blog, and soon on FB, you provide the grist that leads to the conversations that help lead us all out of the shadows and into the light. Your friends and community from long ago will benefit no less. I live with the thought that I can’t lose something that I never had, so much for the “friends” of high school that never really knew me even as I was coming to know myself. That’s what helps me with the feelings you reveal in the title of this post, “whether I like it or not”. What’s not to like? Losing the “privacy” that I tried to maintain? Having their images of me then “updated” by current realities? Thanks for being out and proud and at least here on this blog, so very in our faces… help show us the way (at least your way) of crossing that last frontier of private to public.

  3. Wow. I can imagine what you’re going through. I been hiding for years and years. I don’t know if I will ever have the courage to come out. The picture that you’re going to post of you and Van on Facebook is your way of coming out? If so I totally understand because you have to do it based on what you think is the best way for you..Hang in there man and you know my number if you ever need to talk. I sincerely mean that..

  4. Immanuel, I applaud you on your decision to live your truth openly.It gives me strength to know that one can do that and the sky will not fall. I am rooting for you on your journey. You are very brave to do that, if only I could join you but unfortunately, doing that in my part of the World 🌍 would cause me more problems than I can handle.
    Happy New Year to you and your beloved Van, may this year be filled with Life, Love,Joy and Great Fortune!!!

  5. It’s ironic that following your development on this blog all these years helped me to be open, so I couldn’t be happier that you’re at the point to just “let it all hang out.” Haven’t met my own “Van” yet, but wishing the best to you both!

  6. Happy New Year Year Immanuel..intetesting read. As I’m now in my late, very late 50s.. I’ve learned to live my life by my terms. If they don’t ask, I don’t tell, I just live for me, they can approve or not, I don’t focus on them, just me.. I’ve learned that you can’t let others force u to live by their rules, standards. Know and love self, do what makes U happy, because in the end it’s U and U alone, Ur happiness is in Ur hands.

  7. Excellent advice Rodney. Best advice I’ve heard in a long time. Everyone on this planet should live THEIR life based on exactly what you said….You should follow it Immanuel. I wanted to say that but you probably wouldn’t respond if I had..

  8. Wow !!!! That is very interesting read. It almost felt like it was happening to me. Only thing I can add is that dont put the picture on Facebook just because of what has transpired, as its coming across like you have been cornered, and have something to prove. Do it in your own time, deal with it as you go along. Those who are close to you have already called you or want to talk to you. You havent done anything wrong. And next time, make sure you go to the class meetup, with Van of course.

  9. Immanuel,
    Hey there- I tried to call you on the number you gave me, but it said the number is out of service.
    Lemme know what’s up 🌞🌞🌞

  10. Lol. Yea sooner or later we gotta all explain to our friends from backintheday.ugh, at first then its not so bad as we thought. If they can’t handle it..well u know what comes next?

  11. Immanuel I am so happy for you. I believe that everyone who is gay bi or whatever should feel comfortable at their own own time if they decide to at all. I’m glad you are doing it on your terms. I know for me the most important people for me to come out to was my family. Anyone else I didn’t really give a fuck. If people find out they find out if they don’t they don’t. Everyone has their own rules. I’m glad you are playing by yours and not what some else thinks your rules should be.

    Mark
    The Male Casting Couch

  12. There is nothing BUT ❀ & 🌈 on this blog. I was overwhelmed with hope JUST by reading the commentary, feeling like this entry into one man’s diary was penned JUST for me.

    “At some point in your life you have got to decide who you’re gonna be.
    You can’t let nobody do that for you.” ~Moonlight πŸŒ›πŸŒœπŸŒπŸŒš

    #HappyNewYOU! πŸ’‹

  13. As a naturally reserved dude, coming out seems like an impossibility to me: I don’t talk about my attraction not necessarily out of fear, but because I am not comfortable making such matters public. I don’t think I’ll ever be the type to make constant fb posts about my relationship. And I don’t think I will ever do PDA, either. Again, I’m very reserved. I am bisexual and still, I wouldn’t do PDA in public even if it was a girl. Maybe hand holding, but nothing more.

    Maybe I’ll eventually “work” on that.

    • Thanks for the comment Nate. Each person has their own path. You have to do what is comfortable for you. I’m sure though once you are in a committed relationship with a man or woman you will begin introducing them to friends and family, whether on a case by case basis or on social media.

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