Continued from previous page.

But then I posted my second post about it. And my third. And my fourth. And with each post, there was still a public outpouring of love, but more and more of the truth started to wiggle its way in. More and more of the reasons coming-out was so terrifying for me began to rear their ugly heads.

The worst of it was via email. I only got a couple people sending me “thou art forever damned for destroying mankind” emails. What I got a lot of was people sending me emails that said, “I no longer will follow your God forsaken blog because of this path you have chosen,” and emails that said, “oh boohoo, you were scared. Millions came out before you, millions will come out after you. Nobody cares when other people are gay anymore.” Oh, and emails that told me in no uncertain words that I was a narcissistic asshole who only wanted attention. Yeah, those ones were fun.

Eventually, and I’m sorry to those of you who sent beautiful and encouraging emails, I stopped reading them altogether. There was just too much ugliness going on to try and syphon out the good. It’s as if everyone who had something negative to say feared saying it in the comments of the blog because they knew they’d be booed out of town, but they had no trouble sending me a note where they knew they could pressure me and deride me and try and hurt me for my truth in private.

I’m sure with the *best* of intentions.

And my family (some in my immediate, some in my extended), who after the first day I thought was unconditionally loving and accepting and kind, also had a few of their own moments. What started out as “I love you no matter what,” ended with “I love you no matter what, but…” From several people I heard the phrase, “I don’t agree with what you’ve chosen” right after they told me their love was unconditional.

I mean, it’s not really necessary… I was part of your religion once. Believe me. I know that you don’t like it and won’t ever agree with it. You don’t need to make sure that I still know that who I am will never actually be okay with you no matter how nice you are to me.

Which brings me full circle to these responses, my “kind-of-out” friends, and my own decision to come out.

As the unconditional love rolled in on that first day, I couldn’t help but feel that there was no real problem that still existed, only leftover memories and fears from those creepy guys at church who used to fill us with dread about the topic. In fact, that feeling was so immense, that I became extremely fearful of sharing the rest of the posts I’d written during my dark times.

I mean, what if I was the only one who experienced such fears anymore? What if those posts said more about me than about society? What if I was just self-obsessed and narcissistic? What if I was out flying with the great cuckoo and forgot to catch up with the rest of society?

Based in that fear, I wrote an apologetic post to you all about what was to come. I still believed that those posts needed to be shared because I was just narcissistic enough to believe that I wasn’t crazy and that I hadn’t imagined it all.

And then as I posted each of them, my email box began filling up, and the fear of my fear not being real quickly evaporated. Before I stopped reading them all, I can tell you that half the messages were filled with judgment and anger (reason enough to post the rest of what I had written), but the other half was filled with people telling me of their own very real and parallel struggles that they had or currently are having. In fact, more than ten people I know and love have now confided in me that they themselves are living an inauthentic life because they’re too scared to acknowledge and share their sexual truths.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!