Something happened last week. Within the space of a couple of hours, I had to explain to a work colleague who Talulah was. Then, a while later on Messenger, an old friend asked if I was in a relationship with a girl.
I had to come out, again, twice. It occurred to me, once you come out once as LGBTQ, you never stop. You have you keep coming out for the rest of your days.
I hear you say that I’m exaggerating. I don’t think I am exaggerating. Once you get over the initial telling people you’re LGBTQ, your family, friends, work colleagues, you start getting used to telling people. But, there’s still always that little nervousness. In my case, especially at work.
I’m not the kind of person who goes round shouting it from the roof tops. To be honest, it’s none of anyone’s business. I’m not a fan of labelled anything. If you’re straight and don’t tell people about your significant other, you’re private. If you’re LGBTQ, you’re in the closet.
First up, we’re in the pub after work and one guy asks if I would like another drink. I say no thanks, I’ve just texted Talulah and I’m on the way home. He enquires who Talulah is. When I say my girlfriend, he’s slightly taken aback. He goes on to mention that I don’t mention her in the office. I’m not hiding, it’s just my colleague wasn’t at last year’s Christmas party and it’s not an issue so no one felt the need to tell my colleague.
Later that night, I get home to a message from an old friend. Someone I haven’t seen in years. We never fell out, just life got in the way and we drifted different directions. On a Friday night with a few drinks in, they mention how life turns out different to what we thought it would. Then there’s a casual ‘I take it you’re in a relationship with a girl, maybe I’m wrong’.
This was something I had kinda been dreading for years, I have my life now and I’m out and proud of who I am. But there’s still previous lifetime stuff, people you were you friends with then, what would then think, would they care? Ireland was a very different place in the 1990s. I tell her about Talulah. We’re together, seventeen years. The reaction was one ‘Did you know when we were friends that you liked girls? You should have said. I hope you are very happy. We should meet up sometime.’
There it was. The reaction a small town girl wanted and didn’t know she’d get in the early nineties. I got it now, twenty five years later. Sometimes, you lose track of people, you lose touch. You make new friends who don’t know the previous lifetime you. They know you now. They didn’t know the struggles to get to be who you are now.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what these people think of you, it’s you that needs to be happy with you. But when the past catches with the present and the two exist happily together. That’s always a good feeling.