By Alaya Ayala
Some awkward coming out moments.
By ALAYA AYALA
The first time I came out of the closet, I tripped and landed on my face.
That moment has crystallized in my mind. I see it through cracked rose-colored glasses. Bittersweet and fragile, and hilarious for all the wrong reasons.
I came out for the first time to my friends. We were in tenth grade, and we were playing truth or dare during lunch because we were too cool and too lame to eat in the cafeteria downstairs. I’m assuming that whoever is reading this can already see how having a group of hormonal teenagers playing truth or dare could easily go wrong, and go wrong it did. Two of us were already sniffling when it was my turn to play.
“Truth or Dare?”
I already knew I was going to do or say something stupid, might as well make it as painless as possible.
We had already been confessing to all sorts of things. Promises we’d broken, secrets we’d kept until that moment. We’d only really been playing for fifteen minutes. The question they asked was simple. I could have played it off, made it into a joke. But when I looked up before I answered it, I literally could not stop myself from letting it all slip out.
“If you had to date one of us who would it be?”
I mean, she was sitting right there, right across from me. Smiling that smile that I loved and hated because it made her look like she already knew all the answers. She definitely already knew mine, but that didn’t mean I wanted everyone else to. But then she winked and my heart squeezed and my lungs fluttered and I said it all without even saying that much.
“I think you guys already know who…and by the way I think I’m bi.”
Silence. And then a laugh from her and a chuckle from the rest. The teasing was lighthearted, and my cheeks were painted redder than a porcelain doll’s. And then she said it.
“Oh, you’re not my type.”
The second time I came out, my nose almost fell off.
My little-brother-who-is-bigger-than-me and I were walking home from the bus stop. Walking in silence that wasn’t really silent because angry-loud winter wind was trying to freeze us from the outside-in. It was one of those dark Massachusetts afternoons when the kids walked home at night-time.
I was trying very hard to make him think that my eyes were watering because of the cold outside, not the aching hole inside, but he must have seen right through that after a while because all of a sudden, his hand was holding my backpack and I was jerked to a stop.
“What’s up with you?”
“Would you be mad if I told you I was bi and sad?”
“I’m only mad that you’re sad.”
And then my nose almost fell off because the wind found my tears and decided it wanted to keep them right where they were.
The third time I came out my mom and I had been going sixty miles an hour down the highway for the past hour and I was so sleepy I couldn’t see straight. Pun intended.
She didn’t even warn me before she asked me if I was pansexual.
“Um…yeah, but I usually identify as bisexual. How’d you know?”
“I’m your mom. I’ll always know.”
A year later we both have the word “always” tattooed on our backs. One third because of Harry Potter, one third because we’ll always have each other’s backs, and one third because she said always and my heart got a little less bitter that day.
My heart is still plenty bitter because I’ve come out at least fifty more times since then, and I’m still not out to everyone who has a hold of it. Sometimes when I feel bad about that I put on those cracked rose-colored glasses and laugh, or I turn up the air conditioning and think about how funny it would be if my nose really did fall off this time.
Alaya Ayala (firstname.lastname@example.org) is hoping to have come out to some more important peeps by 2018 but probably won’t.