When I was sixteen I fell in love with a guy. We dated a bit. It was not a great love, but it felt as if it were. Actually, it was a great love, for my 16 self. So much so, that I found in that love the strength to tell everybody I loved that I was loving someone else, for the first time in my life. And I told them all about him. And I came out like that.
He wouldn't come out, and I wouldn't force him to. I felt it was a process that one had to do by one's own standards, and it felt right to remain silent about it. Plus, I knew I was very mature and grownup for my age. Being the nerdy guy I am, I looked up statistics in the internet (this was back in '04, and we already had google), and found out that the usual come-out age for normal homosexuals was around 23, so I congratulated myself for being early and left it at that.
By this time in the story I am 19 already, and I finished school and had to study something. My parents being yuppies, one thing that wouldn't be discussed was a degree. So I began med school. I dropped. Then, I changed to philosophy, something I had always liked and had always come easy for me. I did pretty well and got across 5 out of five years, but in my last year I had some kind of nervous breakdown and I dropped. My father being a doctor, and being a big deal in his community, I could not afford to be a loose cannonball. So I went to law school, attending to my father's advice.
I did well, for the most part, and got through to 3rd year. A new nervous breakdown and I dropped again.
By the way, I'm epileptic.
On November 2011, me, both my parents and my brothers got together in a restaurant. There was an awful tension, until my mother looks at me with a special look I had only seen once before.
Now wait a minute. That look, I'd seen it back in June '03. I remember it perfectly. I am in a car, with my mother. She is saying this words: "I think you might be gay. I want you to know that if you are, then I will love you anyways. I don't care at all about it. I am sorry that it's coming out as a cliché, but I really want you to feel comfortable about anything that has to do with your happiness. If you ever have a boyfriend, I'll love him as though he was my son." I didn't come out then, I came out next year to that. But that was the look I was getting.
Back to Nov '11. My mother is giving me that special look. And I'm thinking. Now what?
"Mar" she says, "I want you to know that I'll love you no matter what. We've paid for all this top notch, private universities. We've paid for everything. And now we are very disappointed. We are disappointed because you have wasted years and money putting up a facade, that you could never hold together, and we never asked you for that facade in the first place. We want you to be happy, and we've told you this a million times. You are not coming out, so we'll force you out. Last time, you know what I'm talking about. (Yes, I did) I wasn't forcing you out. I was just letting you know that I'd love you no matter what. This time, is different. You're making yourself unhappy by trying to follow a set of rules you feel upon you, but that we never set. So I'm outing you: You're not a doctor. You are not a philosopher. You are not a lawyer. You are an artist. So, what do you want to do?"
I had to come out twice in my life. Both times were embarrassing, and both were very disappointing. The first one I was sixteen, was embarrassing to me and disappointing to my parents.
The second one, I was twenty-four, and it was embarrassing to me, and disappointing to my parents. Embarrassing, because even though I knew they were right, I had never been able to put it into words. Disappointing, because they had seen it before me, and they were proactively trying to lead me into the right path.
My father had issues with my homosexuality. Years after saying I should go to a psychologist and be "cured", he came to me and walked side by side, chanting and singing in a demonstration in favor of gay marriage.
My father has issues with me being an artist now. I will never be completely done with my daddy issues, I know, and I'm working on it. But last night he said he was looking forward to see a set of short films I'm placing in an art gallery in Buenos Aires, and that he was bringing colleagues to see them.
Thank you, Andrew, for being so inspiring.