5 days ago
Today marks ten years since I officially came out of the closet and told my parents I'm gay. I'd come out to myself a few years before this and had embraced being gay, but this was the first time I'd told any friends or family.
I know some of you might be thinking, "ONLY ten years?? But, he had a signature pose when he was four??" Well, fear and shame are incredibly powerful emotions. Denial is too. Recognizing that everyone has their own journey to coming out, I've been able to accept the real regret I feel in not coming out in my teens or twenties and of the loss of well more than a decade of dating, love, happiness, self-acceptance -- of just living my truth.
Part of the way that I try to honor that regret is to live my life as authentically as I'm able and to be out and proud - as in really, really out. I'm hopeful that by being really, really out that I'm able to make it easier for other gay people around me to be out and proud in every aspect of their own lives and to help anyone else living in the closet to manifest their own courage and come out. I'm also hopeful that I'm able to help change the hearts and minds of straight people who interact with or live around me, and guide them to become informed allies and passionate advocates for the queer community.
I also recognize that not every LGBTQ person is as lucky as I am to have been embraced by friends and family for being gay. So, the next time you see an LGBTQ friend or family member please make it a point to remind them (or tell them for the first time) just how much you love them.
This photo of me was taken about an hour or so before getting married to Billy. I don't know that 30-year-old or 20-year-old John Blair (heck, even 4-year-old signature posing John Blair) could have ever imagined that moment could be possible. I'm so very grateful for Billy and for the life we've built together, and for the army of loving friends and family who have my back.
I'm gay and I'm so damn proud of it.
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