There are all kinds of ways to ‘Come Out;’ one of my personal favorites is the way comedian bob Smith described how he decided to come out in his book, the high-larious, Openly Bob. He wanted to do it in one fell swoop, letting the entire family know he was gay, so one Thanksgiving he returned home and during dinner said, “Can someone please pass the potatoes to the homosexual?”
Problem solved. Of course, that was his comic take on Coming Out, but it is just another way to do it. Some people write letters; some just blurt it out. Some show up at a homecoming dance with their boyfriend, which is how Michael Martin, an all-state high school soccer goalie in West Virginia, did it: slow dancing with the homecoming king at a high school dance.
Michael, an 18-year-old senior at Musselman High School realized it would be near impossible to come out in rural West Virginia and it took him a long time to figure it out, but when he did it, he did for all to see, by attending the homecoming dance with Jem at Jem’s school. They started the dance with their female friends who were their "dates" but when the last song came on Michael and Jem danced with one another. Big sigh, I imagine. And then two weeks later they repeated the dance at Michael’s school where the two young men once again danced all night.
And that was that; out.
“When I started to talk with Jem I was comfortable with myself and wasn't ashamed like I was in years past. For me to be happy, though, I needed to come out. I didn't want to hide how I really was any more. I didn't want to live every day with a secret hanging over my head. I told my team before my own parents. My family was not accepting at first but is starting to come around and support me. I just had to keep telling them that I can't change who I am and that I am the same teenager that I was before.”
So, enjoy the dance Michael, it only gets better from here on in, because now you’re you, and not some secret, shameful version. You are just another soccer player, just another young man, who happens to be gay.
“I have learned that being gay does not mean you are a lesser of a human being. If I can come out in a small town in West Virginia and be accepted, and dance with the homecoming king, it shows things are changing. I hope my performances and story help inspire other gay teens to show their true colors and not be afraid to play the sport they love.”
And now you can dance with whomever you want, so Welcome Out. And as our gift to you, we here at HOMO HQ would like to send you the Obligatory Coming Out Toaster Oven and a copy of The Gay Agenda.