I was never very good at making friends when I was in the closet.
I was afraid they would figure me out. That's a laugh since I hadn't figured myself out yet. But I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing or gave an obvious glance to another man that it would give me away. And of course if I became really good friends with someone then we might talk about what we thought or how we felt. I was afraid that if I got really honest with someone that I would undoubtedly just blurt out something gay. I know, "How stupid!"
The real problem was of course that I wasn't being honest with myself about being gay. If I became really good friends with someone I would want to be really honest. More than anything I wanted to just be me, not someone that I was pretending to be. I had my straight persona pretty well figured out but not my gay self that I kept in the closet.
It's kind of like Superman. Clark Kent is this mil toast guy without friends because he can't let anyone know that he is wearing tights under that cheap suit. But Superman is all Lycra stretched over a hot body and an obvious package under a Speedo. Of all of Superman's powers, more than anything, I liked his underwear the best. Man-o-man how I wanted to be Superman. He was just so,Gay!
Of course I did have friends before I came out. Unfortuantly most of them were through work or church. Great! I didn't dare being "discovered" in either situation. You kno,w looking back on it, being discovered was as much about me discovering my own "gayness" as it was others figuring it out. I was trying to avoid both.
After spending all of my adult avoiding being too close to other men, it is an adjustment to want to be close now. And yet I am reassured by something that happened just today. Last night someone hacked into my gmail account and started sending emails to everyone in my address book telling them that I was on vacation in England and had been robbed and needed money to get home. As a result the phone started ringing at 7:30 this morning.
I was not in the mood - Friday night had gone into Saturday morning and all I wanted to do was sleep in. Instead I spent half of my Saturday fielding calls from friends that wanted to make sure everything was OK and dealing with the email service company.
The take away was this (and I will quote a friend that called just a few moment ago) "just remember that a lot of people love you and care for you." How reassuring is that?
It is possible, after living most of your life with confusion and lies, to come out of the closet and find out that you are a very likable and even loveable person - even if you are gay? Not just yes, HELL YES! And lucky me - I am now married to my best friend! How wonderful is that?