Happy Groundhog Day!
This is a day that is pretty important to me, and one that I'll always remember. It's not because of the cute little groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil that predicted six more weeks of winter today. It's not because of the Bill Murray movie. It's not because it's a week before my birthday.
It's because last year, on Groundhog Day, I came out to another person for the very first time.
What a nerve-wracking experience! Of course, I couldn't just say "I think I'm gay," I had to write it, because I was embarrassed and ashamed and terrified. I look back on it in my mind and I read through the journal I kept at that time and the overall feeling is just pure panic. I was so overwhelmed by it all and I thought that if anyone ever knew that I even thought I was gay, they would automatically hate me, reject me, berate me, and I would be left alone forever.
Thankfully, that hasn't been the case. Also thankfully, I'm not in that space anymore of hating myself for who and what I am. And I think that makes a difference in how other people see me, because if I don't make it a big deal that I'm gay, it doesn't have to be one.
I can't believe it's been a year already. I'm grateful that the person I did come out to was so understanding and supportive. That first step is huge and I felt every bit of how daunting it was. But I'm glad I did it, because I know I wouldn't be where I am if I would have chickened out. And things now really aren't all that bad. There's little difficulties still with the family, but other than that, life is pretty good.
Six more weeks of winter or not, Groundhog Day is bright and sunny for me, and I'm sure it will be for the rest of my life.