A couple of months ago, a rather close friend of mine sat talking to me in a café. He looked miserable, as he tentatively bit into his sandwich. He obviously had some inner conflict going on that he was avoiding studiously. And I, being the good friend that I am (not really, too many human emotions freak me out), did not push him into telling me what was wrong.
I waited for him to divulge that which was bothering him. And soon enough, after about what seemed like a million years, he said the thing that was bothering him.
“I think I’m gay.”
Now, to say that I was shocked would be an understatement. Because I knew. I knew he was gay for a very long time. I mean, the only person who had a greater crush on Troye Sivan than moi, was him. I’m not saying that means he’s gay. I’m just saying there were signs. Lots of them. The fact that he didn’t know shook me. But, I didn’t say that. All I did was nod my head, take a sip of my coffee, and ask, “And?”
He looked surprised and asked, “You don’t mind?”
I snorted and said, “Are you kidding me? I have a gay best friend. I’m a legend now, thanks to you.”
He chuckled, looking obviously relieved, as if a great burden had been lifted.
We sat for the rest of the time giggling and comparing notes on what made him realize that he swung the other way and what made me realize the same.
He was a completely different person once he’d told me. Not like a 360-degree turn with ‘haaaaay’s all over. No. Too stereotypical.
I realized he was different because earlier he spent so much of his time and energy trying to pretend that he was a straight guy, that he never had any energy or will left to be just himself. I remember times when his guy friends would talk about boobs and asses, and he’d just shift uncomfortably in his seat because he never felt a thing.
As he sat there laughing freely, finally being himself and finally confessing to flirting with guys at fests, I smiled at him. I smiled for every gay person in the world who came out and was welcomed with the same amount of love, if not more.
I smiled at the fact that he chose me to open the gate of the new world for him. A world where it’s okay if he’s not straight. A world where it’s completely fine if he chooses to love a man and not a woman. A world where his loved ones support him, no matter what. A world where gender matters squat, and what matters is love.
I smiled because I felt like I made a difference.