It’s noon and I should be getting up. The breeze coming in from the window is making my bedroom door move backwards and forwards without a sound. It never quite fully closes, nor does it stay open; I just watch it dance hypnotically.
Two years ago today I came through that very door just after a shower, sat myself down in front of my laptop and opened up MSN. I was going to tell someone, I was going to work my way out of the limbo I was in, drifting backwards and forwards between lies and fear. Twenty minutes later it was done; my friend was amazingly supportive and said that it made no difference to her. At that moment the door was open and I faintly heard my sister laughing and talking to her boyfriend. That sound, the sudden awareness of the possibility of love combined with the rush of optimism and images of how my life could be began to flick past in my imagination: an unexpected but tender first kiss outside my house, smile and a hug on the worst of days, the feel of skin upon skin, watching someone sleep in the light of sunrise.
I can now appreciate how ludicrous my expectations were. I was so sure that once I had come out to everyone I would be happy, that the minute after I told one person that I was gay I began planning how to tell the next. The fantasies of my new honest life ran wild; I would come out and be a beacon to my fellow LGBT classmates who were still in the closet, acting as a paragon of courage and a source of advice. I would get a boyfriend (I had no idea how) and we would share hugs and kisses every day. I would put down any naysayers and bigots with a witty remark.
What I didn’t know was that the first person I told would proceed to not only tell everyone else at school about me, but that with it a horrible and malicious rumour would also be spread. I didn’t know that my mother would find a letter intended for a friend explaining my sexuality and ambush me with it at some random nature reserve. I didn’t realise the oxymoron I was creating; I wanted to change, but I wanted people to still see me as the same person.
And yet, things now are miles better than before. I had to work for my current happiness; I put myself through so much stress that I appreciate everything so much more than if it had been trouble-free and if that clichéd perfect romance was just handed to me. I still have the same fantasies, but I now know that they are things to work towards, and I don’t care if I ever reach them.
I suddenly become aware of the fact that I am smiling. I can hear my sister and her (new) boyfriend downstairs. The breeze has died down and the door hasn’t moved for a while now.
I think it’s time to get up.
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