September 2, 2014
advice articles
Coming Out Again

Coming Out Again

Hi Will and R. J.!

First, let me start by saying I am a subscriber to your YouTube channel and I really enjoy watching your videos. You guys are great. You two like many of the same things I do: Harry Potter, comic books, etc. I guess that’s why I look forward to seeing your vlogs, I can definitely relate to what you guys talk about.

Anyway, I am writing to tell you a little bit about me and to ask some advice of you. I came out to friends at age 22 in 1996, and I was very out and proud at first. I wasn’t living at home and wasn’t close with my family at the time. After coming out, over the years, I really discovered who I was, who I wanted to be. I did come out to my family a few years later, about 1999. They, being very religious, took it ok. But they never really accepted me as me and we never really discussed things regarding that aspect of my life. My family and I have grown closer since then. I do talk to them a lot and can talk to them about pretty much anything. Anything but this.

I turned 40 this year, so maybe it’s this milestone of birthday ages that has spurred me into taking action. I have been thinking about “coming out” again. I’m not sure if that even makes sense to me, much less to you, given the little you know about me. Or maybe if it makes perfect sense. Have you ever heard of a thing where someone wants to come out again? I guess the advice I’m seeking from you is: How would I go about it? I’m also afraid of the barrier that I expect to be thrown back up between my loved ones and myself. I know this may seem like an odd question, but I do not have many gay friends who might seem to know what I’m even talking about.

Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it. And keep up the great work on your videos!
Mark in Colorado

Hey Mark!

You bring up a point that I’ve been thinking a lot to myself lately: when do we ever stop coming out? I mean, starting the process is a HUGE deal, but it never really stops. We’re constantly meeting new people and having to explain that yes, we are in fact gay. But for you it’s a little different, since it seems your family is having a hard time taking it seriously.

If it makes sense and feels right to you, I say go for it. You’re past the point of possibly being kicked out if your family doesn’t accept it, so what have you got to lose? Sure, there’s a chance they make react in a way that isn’t to your liking, but if they’re the family they need to be, then they’ll come around and realize that you’re still a part of their family and you haven’t changed from the person you were before you came out. You’re still Mark.

If I were you, I wouldn’t wonder as much as to why they don’t take your sexuality seriously enough, I would wonder why they don’t take you seriously enough. If their opinion means that much to you (I’m really bad at being a family man), then I say confront them on not respecting you as you feel they should. Tell them you should be able to talk about this aspect of you with them – they’re your family after all.

Hope they come around and you guys can put this behind you!

About Will

Will is a recent graduate from Florida State University and transplant to Los Angeles who makes the occasional video on YouTube documenting his life with his fiancé and German Shepherd.
  • Stacia Hess

    I understand the concept of the coming out process being ongoing because there will always be someone new to tell. I personally think it’s a shame that you feel you have to come out again to the SAME people. I’m sorry for that, I know the first time was hard enough. I agree with Will, if you feel like this is something you have to do, then do it. If you read this Mark, I am going to tell you what I told my son when he was alienated by a family member. Family is not necessarily who you’re related to. Family is supposed to love you no matter what, if they don’t then they don’t deserve the privilege of having you. Love from family is supposed to be unconditional. If they can’t accept you for who you are, then surround yourself with people who can. Those people are the ones who end up being your family. I know it’s a hard concept to except because they’re your parents and you love them but make sure you love yourself as well.
    I wish you good luck and only the best.

    • shep689

      this is one of the best responses i’ve ever read.

  • Daniel Park

    To answer this question, it’s vital to know what is important to YOU and YOUR life at your TIME of life (apologies for capitalisation)
    It is two-dimensional to believe that your coming out period from 1996-1999 defines who you are permanently. People change and grow and there’s a tendency for families to believe that they can safely isolate the “issue” if you’re not in a permanent relationship or waving a rainbow flag constantly. The fact that sexuality doesn’t wholly define who you are – who indeed anyone is – is a convenient excuse for such families. Will and RJ are (forgive me for any inadvertent slight) luckier than most in that their relationship is firm and permanent. As such their families can either celebrate and share (as theirs do) or resent and hate (as others do). What their families cannot do is IGNORE the situation.
    If you don’t have that kind of relationship at present (and there’s no compulsion to embark on one if you don’t wish to) then I would respectfully advise the following:
    1) Answer the first question – what’s important to you right now at your time of life? Has an incident recently occurred where you felt you would have benefited from a more accepting family, or has this “ignoring” issue developed over time, like sediment building up in a stream (shameless geography teacher reference).
    2) If this is a incident-led issue, then you need to be brave, grasp the thistle and raise that very issue with your family. If it’s something that’s built up over time, then the solution is probably subtler. Try making reference to your thoughts on everyday issues, but with a gay-related slant (e.g. employment or marriage law discussions, or even just wearing an AIDS ribbon or mentioning going to a gay friend’s house or a gay resort for a short break) By doing so you’re subtly reminding them of something they haven’t forgotten, but are choosing to ignore. They’re may not say anything directly to you but you can be sure this is slowly addressing the imbalance.
    Does this mean you’re having to work at it? Surely it does. But, as Will so rightly observes, we all have to “come out” on a rolling basis during our lives – it’s the burden we carry for being who we want to be. I have no doubt that we’ll all be making bitchy remarks in the nursing home as our incontinence pads are changed!

Shep689: A Gay in the Life

We had to increase the price of international shipping by $1, since mailing prices have gone up. Thanks for understanding, guys!