Between the Sword and the Wall
The title is a Spanish saying, “Entre la espada y la pared,” which indicates that someone is in a no-win situation. That kind of describes my coming out story. I was raised in a Hispanic family, with a very conservative religious upbringing. I knew I was interested in other guys since I was very young…I actually remember having a crush on a neighbor kid when I was only 7! But, because of my environment, it was clear to me that feelings like these were not allowed.
When I was 17 I was caught with another guy, and the situation that followed within the next years made me re-think ever coming out in my life. I even decided to live a completely celibate life and actually focused so much in my church that I became a prominent figure. But, that never felt completely right. I never preached anything that I didn’t firmly believe in, and the church was not the kind to promote hate in any shape or form, in fact, it is very pacifist. But, they believed firmly that homosexuality was something that God did not approve of.
Through that time I had countless friends and family that loved me very much. But, I knew that they would never really know the real me. When I turned 28, it was getting more and more difficult to be celibate. I felt that I should not hold to a decision I made when I was younger and less experienced. I began having sexual encounters, and that seemed to satisfy me for a while, but it was never enough. I wanted to actually fall in love again as I did when I was younger.
I began skipping church, being less active, and this worried all of my friends and family. I wished I could tell them all who I really was, but, because of the religion’s principles, that would mean that I would be excommunicated, and they (including my family) would not be allowed to talk to me without there being consequences for them as well. After about a year of slowly letting go of the church, I quit going altogether. At about the same time, a wonderful guy came into my life. I was very hesitant to start a relationship, but we talked for a while, and I explained everything of my life to him. He was supportive through the entire shift of my life. Without him, this would’ve been an almost impossible journey.
Now, I am 32. My partner and I have lived together for exactly one year. I have a new set of friends and I am out to them and my co-workers. My family? Well, that’s still a hurdle I haven’t managed to cross. The reason is, I am a firm believer that people should let me live my life how I choose, and that they shouldn’t judge. But, I was raised to think that if I expect that from others, they should expect that from me. If they want to remain in that church, and believe their beliefs, that’s their choice as well, and I will not try to force them to think differently. It is great for them, and they would be miserable without their beliefs. I want them to be happy, just as I am sure they want me to be happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve left them clues, and I am 90% sure that they know I am gay. They know I live with another guy, and that he and I share everything like any other couple does. But, the subject does not come up openly. Maybe that’s best for now. It saves me the pain to live without my family, and it saves them the pain to lose a son and a brother. Maybe one day, that will change. But for now, I am satisfied, and am grateful for who I am, and am proud to have someone like my partner by my side. It is not easy, not now, and it probably won’t be easy for quite some time. But, it is doable. I would not change my life for the world.
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