I decided that this week I am going to publish each of the heavy posts I told you about in The Darkness Before the Light. I’m just ready to share some of the unexpected and more beautiful parts of this journey and to go back to blogging as usual. I hope that’s okay. It might be a rough few days around here first, though. (Insert uncomfortable laugh.)
Anyway, last week I came out of the closet.
God, that sounds so strange being that it was only recently that I was able to admit even to myself that I was anything other than straight.
Coming to acknowledge that I am often as attracted to men as I am to women has been very challenging. Today I will attempt to share my journey of the last five months with you.
In June, I wrote a response on my blog to another blogger’s coming-out post. I didn’t just say I wasn’t gay in that response. I went into great detail telling you all about a fairly recent time of my life when I really questioned my sexuality. I also told you that at the end of the journey, I determined that I am indeed straight.
As I typed that post, I began feeling like the world’s biggest perjurer, even though I didn’t really tell a single lie while writing it. I was and still am attracted to women. I love boobs more than you can imagine (okay, maybe don’t imagine that). I have no doubts about my attraction or my capability to be attracted to the opposite sex.
Yet, as I wrote that response and then published it, something began perching very heavily and uneasily upon me. Telling the world that I wasn’t gay this time hadn’t done what I needed it to do in order to let me distance myself from the nagging attraction I’ve experienced toward men since I was eleven years old.
Instead, it pushed me hard and fast into the single greatest hopelessness of my life.
You see, after writing that post, I suddenly knew the truth. And I couldn’t deny it.
And I did not, under any circumstances, want to admit the truth.
So I didn’t. And you wouldn’t believe how badly and how quickly my life spiraled out of control after that.
In vain attempts to bury my ever-escalating feelings and emotions, I spent the next several weeks chasing anything that I thought would prove how straight I was. That chase involved a lot of booze and hurting a lot of women.
Yet every step I took to cover it up, “it” pushed harder and louder against the outer walls of both my heart and mind until I finally snapped.
And as I drove up the mountain to my home, drowning beneath perhaps the greatest depression of my life, two thoughts struck me. You can’t let this happen, and you don’t have to deal with this.
Men are amazing, how could you not be attracted to them?! ;)
Just kidding but kudos to you for sharing all of this with all of us, it's really moving and uplifting. I came out as bisexual a couple years ago to friends and family, I didn't receive any hate for it but it's a lot easier for girls to come out than it is for guys... It's a sad truth. Plus my town is actually full of gay/bisexual people, not too sure about trans and whatnot but yeah! I guess I'm lucky in that way. I hope your stories help those who are in need of it, because even though sexuality is just a part of who we are, some people seem to make a bigger deal out of it than need be.
Good luck to you and everyone else. <3
I just recently found your blog and am skimming over everything, including the list that this posting was under.
I can relate on quite a few levels, including not being straight, but not being gay either. Inbetween, but disliking the term 'bisexual'.
Also this post. I've been there, on the edge. Very close to where I had almost gone over. The ONLY thing that stopped me was my son as well. The love he has for me never wavers but grows more and more each day. I am his one and only parent and am his world, as he is mine. He is the reason why I am still here.
I'm still catching up on all your postings, so I'm hoping things have and will continue to get easier for you.
I wish I was as brave as you. I have often thought blogging about my issues would be so helpful in my inability to love myself for who I am since I love to write and have always expressed things better "on paper" but I am too afraid. You are an inspiration and your bravery is to be commended.
May the light of fire ever guide your way down your path, just know that your followers and subscribers who adore you will always be there for you.
I know why. Dan struggles and has found life worth living. I struggle and have found the opposite is true.
I've been trying take my way through your coming-out posts but I can't stop crying. I have no fucking idea why. I can't continue reading these tonight but I'll be back to read them in the morning. I have no idea why.
Read the entry kinda late..All I can say is that you are a strong man who is able to face and admit the truth about who you really are OPENLY and that amazed me and perhaps alot of people out there..so, keep it up and keep going..That sexual thingy or issue or matter happens to most humans in this world..well at least it did happened to me..*..Smiiiiile..*..Nice eyes you have there..:)
yep, its okay to be you. aint no one else gonna be and the world would sure be a lot less bright without ya. its not all rainbows and unicorns and dancing elves in the glens but every now and again you get to see them. you need to be here for that to occur. all those stones you were being weighted done with were sure heavy its good that you finally put them down.
Oh Dan...I hate to admit it, but I've been in that exact place. I'm a married bi guy and have been where you were. Love you man.
This is so brave to admit this. I have been at this point so many times. You are doing great and it DOES get better.
This is always one of the scariest and, subsequently, most calming things you can ever do... I'm proud of your strength. :) *hugs*
I am so happy for you and for everyone that loves you, near and far, that you were saved by the love of your son, God bless you and keep you safe (((hugs)))
My heart broke when I read this. And I'm so relieved that at the last moment you remembered your son loved you. My uncle committed suicide 10 years ago. I still hate him for it. He left behind a wife and 2 young sons...along with several nieces and nephews, not to mention his parents and siblings and students (he was an elementary school teacher). He was my favorite, I won't deny it. And as I've watched his sons grow, my heart has hurt for them. They are great young men now, and they seem to be doing well, but I know there is a pain they will always carry due to the loss of their father. I'm happy your son won't have to bear that pain.
You're a great dad. I'm sorry you've had to fear coming out. I think that is one of the worst things a person can go through--to fear life simply for who they are. It's horrible. But I'm so happy you've come through to the other side, where you can be yourself, honestly yourself, and know that people still love you. Because they do, they really do love you, and that will never change.
Dan, I am so glad you posted this! I absolutely don't want you to stop posting the funny and fluffy stuff, but the hard stuff.....wow. Yes. I have never struggled with being gay. I *am* gay, it just wasn't a struggle. For me it was more of a V-8 moment of "oh, so *that's* the issue". I have, however, struggled with (and continue to struggle with) major, debilitating depression and thoughts of suicide. I, too, have had those same thoughts of "I could just turn the wheel right here and be gone". And, like you, the thing that holds me back is my son. I can't do that to him. That option is just plain off the table for me now that I have him and I am very, very glad of that. I even went so far once as to do some research into the effects of parental suicide on children (I really, really wanted to keep that option!) but what I learned was horrible. Children whose parents die have a hard time, of course, but when that death is by suicide it is far, far worse and has lifelong behavioral and emotional consequences that I just can't inflict on my precious and beautiful son. So I will stay. I will continue to fight my demons. I will keep going. I know that my son will be affected by my depression and I am working hard to keep that minimal, but even so, the alternative would be so much worse for him. He is so loved, so much so that just typing this makes my heart almost burst, and being his mother will always come first.
I am a full time nursing student. What this means is that I never ever get to read for pleasure.... I only get to read books on nursing. Your blog is the only pleasurable reading I have done since August. I look forward to reading about you and Noah. As a single, anything but straight, mom of 2, your posts have meant a lot to me and started me on my own journey.... I appreciate your words. Thank you Dan for helping this slightly neurotic, overwhelmed nursing student keep her sense of humor and perspective.
Oh my gosh!!! You are a wonderful person reading this just made me respect you even more then I already do, I lost my mom when I was 14 to suicide all she could think about was hurting my dad for walking out on us. I still have what feels like a hole in my heart for losing my mom, You are a wonderful father and I know you want what is best for your child I can also see he loves you to death. LOVE IS LOUDER listen to your peers we are here for you. Stay strong <<Hugs>>
As someone who has lost two friends to suicide within two years, this was a difficult read for me. Even so, I am glad that you shared your story; it helped me make sense of what they may have been feeling. My only wish, though, is that they would have had a similar moment of clarity before going through with it. I am so happy that you had that moment; Noah loves you and he NEEDS you. Don't abandon him because of your despair, please. Thanks, again, Dan <3
How sad is our society that you would rather die than tell people you are bi-sexual. There are a lot of things I don't like or I don't like that other people do, but it is not my life and I don't want others telling me how to live my life. If those people really care about you they would focus on who you are and not what you like sexually. GOD LOVES ALL HIS CHILDREN! The good, the bad, the gay, the straight, happy, depressed, ALL OF US. I am a Christian and although I am proud that I am, I fear that others think I am declaring that I am better than you and that I am perfect. I AM NOT! True Christians love everyone, just like God, not pick and choose who deserves love and who doesn't. You're a great person. I'm glad GOD changed your mind :)
Dan, Dan, Dan.....love IS louder...you are just not listening. You say you are...but listen closer. Listen like the grinch did on top of that mountain when he heard the singing below.
Once again, tears are in my eyes as I try to write something here. You are an amazing, giving, loving man and we are all so fortunate to have found you. I have been following the blog and all the comments I can read ever since "I'm Christian unless...." and have been so impressed by your insights and the depth of your kindness. The world would have lost too much, if it had lost you. You and your son, I believe, have much, much more to teach us all over the coming years. I truly love you and him as if you were my own child and grandchild. Carry on, Sir!
I am grateful that you are still here. I will briefly share my experience on coming out. Like you I was raised in a very religious family. (LDS) I had served in many different areas in the church including Bishoprics and High Councils. I had known for several years that I was gay but because of church teachings and my family I could not face it.
One night after work I did pretty much the same thing you did. I was coming home on a snowy slick night from a late work meeting. I decided that I would drive my truck off a cliff that near my home. It would look like a total accident. I took my seat belt off and headed for the edge of the road where it would look like I just slide off the edge. I closed my eyes and just wished it to all be over with. The edge was on a sharp corner. As I approached the edge I readied myself to go over. Much to my surprise the truck turned and made the corner.
I opened my eyes to see the steering wheel turn as if someone else had done it. Call it a fluke or and angle but I know I was not supposed to die that night. The first thought that came to my head was my 2 children at home. I could not leave them without a dad.
It was better that I was live gay dad than a dead father.
You made the right choice. I am not sure if you will read this but I hope that you do and that you know you are not alone. You did good my friend.
Why am I sitting here reading this in my office with tears running down my face an hour after I should have headed home...damned if I know, but I have to keep reading...I'm glad you're still here...
Thanks for writing that post... I've been right there for different reasons but definitely been in that place and similarly to yourself my daughter stopped me. Not physically but mentally/emotionally. I've written a bit about that particular journey on my blog but I don't know that I've been quite as brave or forth coming as yourself. Thanks again for sharing.
Wow, I can't even write this without a lump in my throat. It's astonishing the things we think others are saying or thinking they might say, when in reality it's our own thought that are screaming those thoughts. It is always about who we are, and we are so much stronger then we think, this wasn't just your thoughts about how your son feels about you or of him being the only one that truly loves you. You forget that you love yourself too, and you can accept yourself regardless of what your brain tells you someone else thinks. You are divine, let yourself see it. Tell yourself that everyday, even if you don't believe it everyday, the more you say it the more it becomes reality.
I have been to a place like you spoke of here, it took place in a car, and pretty much the same scenario. And like you, it was thoughts of my daughter that stopped me. I'm glad I stopped, I'm glad you stopped. And once you get past those rough times, they always seem so silly afterwards... I think you are brave for writing about it here, so many people never mention those times of darkness they experience in fear of being laughed at or judged... but I guess we've already established that you are brave. :)
That desperation for release, escape, and end, is something so many people feel in their lives. Too many don't make that realization that whatever it is, is not worth dieing for . I'm glad you made it through.
Love you and don't even know you. Your life is beautiful -- every happy and sad moment is beautiful. I know how it feels to be on the edge and to wish you could go over. Be well, my unknown friend.
Do you have any idea what a wonderful thing you've done here? I don't think that you do. I think that you are freeing yourself, but I don't think you realize how many others may quite possibly be freed alongside you. I see kids struggle so hard with EXACTLY what you are struggling with, and it hurts me. Unconditional love, should always be just that, unconditional. And a parent's love, should ALWAYS be unconditional, because that's exactly how they love us isn't it? You are a brave man. And Love truly is louder. Thank you for your courage.
I'm so glad that you know who you are. I also hope that your story will help someone else in their suffering.
Gee I like you. You are all kinds of awesomesauce. I can't wait to turn as many people on to you as possible and share the joy I get from you with them.
Single Dad Laughing there is absolutely nothing wrong in realizing that you feel attraction to both genders. In fact it is so admirable to be able to admit the truth about who you are. Anyone who cannot accept that truth does not deserve to be part of your world. Period. You are a rock star - and I have the utmost admiration and respect for you!
I don't read your stories and follow your blog because of your sexuality. You are just a terrific you no matter what. Take each day one at a time, breathe in and out, love your son and it will all work out. Don't make final decisions based upon something that doesn't define everything about you. There is so much more to you than your sexuality. Embrace all of you and your sexuality, no matter, will fall into its respective place. Remember Noah loves you because you are Dad.
I love you Dan. This tends to be my only comment because it really encompasses everything I can think to say. I've been in this same place and it really all I ever wanted to hear. Hope that isn't strange. I'm not some psycho groupie lol
After learning about the lives of many men who are both straight and gay, I now realize how fortunate I am to have been able to realize the truth of my own sexuality--that I am also bisexual--when I was only fifteen. I can't imagine having to endure so many years before finding that golden warmth of self acceptance; because let's face it, no matter the age we are when we first face that sobering fact, it is a life changer. I can only hope that for many of us, it will have been be a step toward self love rather than self loathing. Cheers, Dan. I'm a new reader here and I hope you have a happy road ahead.
I know you really want to just get all this stuff out of your system and go back to your life as it was (and your blog). Just thought I'd mention that quite a few of us here (at least I think I can speak for quite a few of us) are here BECAUSE of this part of your life bubbling to the surface. BECAUSE we can relate. BECAUSE we have the same thing/s going on. BECAUSE we need to know there are others in the same boat, facing the same things. There is a lot of healing going on (certainly for me) BECAUSE I read this blog and recognised that someone on the other side of the world is going through exactly the same stuff. (well, almost exactly. If you want a glance ten years into the future of your own life if you hadn't come out, then I'll send you a picture of me! I can tell you it's not as happy a picture as it could be.) Please, before you jump back into your usual (and I'm sure very entertaining) material, remember that you've become a bit of an icon in the self-depreciating, bi-sexual, trying to pretend to the world we're straight when we know that we are something other than straight world and those of us in that boat want to keep hearing of your experiences on this subject. I know that isn't the essence of your blog, nor is it "all that you are" and I wouldn't want you to alienate your other readers... just thought I'd mention that what you've done has helped (maybe in a small way, maybe a huge one) and that I for one am grateful and wish to hear more.
This blog hits so close to home for me. I struggle with the same feelings of wanting to end the judgement and hatred that so many people like to force onto others. I believe it is an attempt to cover up something in their own lives, regardless of the reason it cuts deep into the souls of those it is directed at. Being made to feel small or worthless because of differing beliefs is painful. Just as you described here, I too, have had many a moment where I feel taking my life would be the answer, just to end the inner pain and struggle...to shut up the voices of judgment once and for all. My kids, and their love for me is what keeps me here struggling to see another day...just as you realized! I am so happy that you thought of your son in that moment and that you are still here. You are SO brave and such an inspiration to your readers. What a pillar of strength your son has as his father. I wish I had an ounce of the courage you display daily by being so vulnerable to so many. What you may, or may not, realize is the amount of lives you are touching, and how many lives are being affected in a positive light from your strength!! I commend you. Thank you for choosing to live. Let haters be haters, one day they will realize all they lost in their lives by being that way. Much Love.
Courage to share intimately. Tolerance in diversity. Opens a path to LOVE our fellow human beings. You've got it Dan.
[I thought you were openly 'out', too] ?! Iz okay, Dude. God loves you as who you are, not as who people want you to be... for me, that's the most AWESOME thing about God. Acceptance. Grace. You don't have to be afraid. ! Thank you for sharing your journey. ♥
@Saundra Chavis - I tried to message you through facebook but your page won't let me. Anyway, I'm a single, anything-but-straight, mom of one who went through nursing school a few short years ago. I remember neurotic and overwhelmed!! I just wanted to wave and say hi and offer a "keep going, girl" :)
@khuilter I can only add "me too" to this. Well said. My son saved my life too.