Thursday, July 23, 2009
I had an interesting chat conversation with a best friend of mine. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read or remember I have a blog. If he does, everything I say here is what I would like him to hear.
Chris and I go way back. We first met back at BYU in my freshman year. Both of us have strong personalities and sometimes we don't see eye to eye. But excluding those times, we are eerily similar in our point of view. We spent summers together visiting national parks and camping. We really were inseparable. We had dreams of building homes next to each other and our children calling the other Uncle. Later he married my last girlfriend and now they have two children.
Later, Chris joined the Army to pay for dental school and he moved away. He still has family in Utah so I saw him from time to time. However, I created a distance between us. I had already discovered that I was gay and was meeting new people and making changes in my life. I wasn't ready to come to Chris, but I was tired of lying. So I distanced myself.
Years later, I began to integrate myself and leave the deceit behind me. Chris was one of the first people I came out to. He was in Afghanistan at the time, so it had to be through e-mail. I think it was very hard for him. In a way he felt betrayed. Both by my not being honest with him for so long but by keeping him at a distance.
Last night we chatted for the first time in a year. He asked the same questions he asks every time. How's my job? I don't have one right now. I've been laid off twice. Have I considered going back to BYU and getting my degree? I can't. I'm in a relationship and am not BYU Honor Code compliant. He replied, "Oh, there is that." I mean really!? I get the feeling that Chris only asks the safe questions. That for some reason he is afraid to find out about my life. In a way that hurts. He lives several states away, so I couldn't see him often. But I would like to include him in my life. I guess I should make more effort.
So how has coming out to your religious friends gone? Or if you have had friends come out to you, how did effect your relationship? Is it awkward? Or better because there is more honesty?