National Coming Out Day 2017… Flight Attendant Joe’s Story

It’s National Coming Out Day. I just learned that it was founded in the United States in 1988. That’s interesting because that’s actually the year I came out, but I had no idea it was actually a “thing” to come out.
Here’s my story…

I was 16 years old and a senior in high school. I had written a love letter to this straight Puerto Rican guy named, Ruben. When I think of that, I laugh. But when you are young, dumb, and in love with a Puerto Rican — you do stupid shit. Stupid shit like write a straight Puerto Rican guy a love letter and then leave the letter out for your mother to read.
I had come home from my late shift at McDonalds and sat on the living room floor playing Nintendo duck hunt. I had no clue what was about to happen. When my mother walked in, she was extremely drunk. She launched into a tirade regarding homosexuality and how she would never have a son who was queer. I played it off like it was a phase. I may have even nervously said, “It’s a phase. Don’t worry.”
To this day, I still hate the word queer. 
By the time I was 17 years old, and completely out of the closet, she kicked me to the curb. It wasn’t one of those nice kind of kick your kid out of the house moments — oh no — it was nasty, and that’s because we fought daily about me being a faggot. Some would argue that I deserved being kicked out. I’m still on the fence about that. At my wits end, I reached my breaking point with her verbal abuse and threw her up against the closet door to shut her up. She called the police, and I left a broken 17 year old gay guy who pushed his mother against a closet because she called him “queer” one too many times.
Long story short, my mother would eventually turn around. By my early 20’s, she’d even stick up for her “queer” son at her job where other coworkers bashed gays on an hourly basis. On last weeks episode of Will & Grace (Can you believe it’s back? Maybe there really is a God… and she’s awesome.), Will explains to a young guy the struggles we went through in the past regarding coming out, or being gay in general.
Yes, it’s much easier now, but there are STILL teenagers who struggle every day with their sexuality. They sit at the kitchen table and listen to their parents talks about “faggots”, “queers”, and listen to them refer to us as perverts. They listen to their parents say, “If you ever come out as gay, I’ll disown you.” Or worse, “I’ll kill you if you turn out to be a faggot.”
As America moves quickly towards a White Hetero Straight Man World, I hope those young teenagers realize things will always works out. It might not seem that way, but if you stay strong — life will become normal.
Keep your head up. Don’t let them bring you down. Give zero fucks… like I did when I was 16 years old and decided to be honest with my homosexuality. <3