I grew up in San Francisco between Dolores Heights & Eureka Valley (popularly known as “The Castro”), with many gay “uncles”. Although my family was very liberal & open-minded, I had four brothers that were typical jocks. After my first love/junior high boyfriend moved away, I was an emotional wreck. On the Saturday evening following his departure, our house was full of each of our friends having a typical pizza night & sleepover. There were 8 rowdy, athletic teens rough-housing and then there was me sulking in my room. My older brother’s friend Corey made an effort to get me to come out and play. Reluctantly, I joined everyone in the family room, including my parents. Everyone was pestering me on & off to explain why I was so down. Finally: Older brother: “What’s going, kiddo? I’ve never seen you so upset.”
Me: “Jason’s gone and he’s not coming back.”
*Tears streaming down my face*
Younger brother’s friend: “But why is that making you cry?”
Me, blurting out with as much angst & drama as I could muster: “Do I really need to tell you all that I love him and that I’m gay?”
*About 10 seconds of utter silence*
My 9yo little brother: “Duh! Do we all really need to tell you we’ve lived with you your whole life?” This was the one & only time I ever came out. After that, nothing much changed except a few pronouns & funny, well-intentioned jabs regarding my sexual identity. I’m extremely grateful & privileged to have grown up when & where I did!