The Fantasy

~ I wrote the following in March 2011 right before my 29th birthday. At the time I was closeted. ~

cropped bright
I have this fantasy…

It starts black, like my eyes are closed. Suddenly they open and at first everything is a blurry flood of light and colors. Then things begin to focus and take shape. I’m standing in a large room: a banquet hall. The air feels warm; comfortable and inviting. The lighting is dim and yet bright enough to fill the room. The gentle glow illuminates from lamps on tables and flows down from beautiful chandeliers hanging safely above the room.

Then the room is filled with people, some sitting at the tables and talking, others simply standing together conversing in clusters. They are a moving wave of colors, sometimes stopping to talk and then moving on to greet others. I can see their faces and it is obvious that they are all delighted to be there. It’s a sea of friends and pleasant acquaintances. As they talk, some tell jokes causing laughter, others hug their familiar friends and still others touch their mouths while hearing pleasant memories.

I realize that I am watching everyone from a large stage, and as I glance around, I further realize that I know each and every one of them, all from various points of my journey through life. I see my mom and dad and my little brother. I see my best friend from when I was eight, and my grandmother who’s been dead since I was 14, and a close college friend of mine who died in a car accident right after we graduated, and there’s even a boy from soccer camp who I knew when I was 5. Everyone looks healthy and well and there is nothing odd about any of them being there. They are there for me. Each face fills me with a memory and there are only good memories to remember.

A light above me turns on and slowly everyone notices that I am there and turns towards me. Over a hundred eyes are suddenly all focused on me, and at first I can’t remember why I am there. I freeze for a moment fearing stage fright will take ahold of me, but before I can freak out I notice their eyes. Their eyes are all sparkling, recognizing me fondly and smiling up at me. Everyone is happy to see me and glad that I am finally there. I remember that I’m there to say something important: to give a big speech. I’m there to tell them all that I am gay. But my lips can’t remember how I was going to tell them…what I was going to say…

I open my mouth to speak but a sudden movement stops me. One person in the middle of the crowd has raised their glass to me in a toast. Then a second person raises theirs. Then another and another and soon everyone’s glass is raised. I realize that everyone already knows, and that it is all right. My eyes tear up from the overwhelming feeling of total acceptance. I know they are glad to see me right now, as I exist, exactly as I am. And suddenly I realize that I don’t actually have to say anything at all.

glassesRaised

And there is a glass in my hand. It was always there. So I raise it to them, to each of them for their role in my past, their role in my present; their role in making me who I am. I thank them with a nod, a smile and happy tears beginning to roll down my cheeks. And there, in a room filled with tolerance and compassion, time stands still and I feel complete.

There is no need for anyone to say anything, because we are all loved and that is enough.

And the warm lights shine down upon us…

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6 thoughts on “The Fantasy

  1. I love the idea of a “coming out party” – especially with an open bar! There is such power and truth in your imagery. For anyone reading this who has not yet come out, I would offer one observation. As Adam stands on the stage facing the crowd, he doesn’t immediately realize that each person there has been invited – by him. They are there for him because they love him, and they love him because they know him. In the end, he doesn’t even have to say the words, “I’m gay.” Because, as the great philospher Dr Seuss reminds us, “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” So close your eyes and “invite” all of your loved ones, those who matter. There may be a few who arrive a little late to the party, but it’ll be a good time.

    • Thank you so much for this comment. Everything you stated here is beautiful. And you get huge points in my eyes for quoting Dr. Seuss who I love! I’m not saying that everyone has to throw a party to come out, but wouldn’t it be nice if, in general, coming out was viewed as a celebration of who we are instead of as a terrifying task we dread? I hope the imagery resonates with others. Thank you again for reading and letting me know your thoughts!

  2. Adam—this is the most beautiful post I have ever read. I was not exactly sure where you were heading with the party scenario until the very end, but, I LOVED it!!! The way you describe everything so perfectly, I felt like I was right there with you! Honestly, this is the first time any other bloggers post has made me teary-eyed—but, in a good way. “You did not even have to speak” the love and acceptance shown by every single person you know is such a powerful, amazing thing. This is exactly how “coming out” should be! There should be no reason for people to feel hurt or shame, guilt or pain—Love is definitely more important. I know you must now feel that you are free, despite how your story actually played out. Cheers to you, for being free, for being wonderful, and for being you! Wishing you the best my friend!

    • Thank you, friend! I remember first writing this post way back when and starting to cry because I knew I would never have this perfect experience with my coming out. It’s so sad that we can’t just expect it to be like this when we tell our loved ones who we are. But, even though telling my mom and dad and so many others was nothing like a room full of smiles and calm acceptance with no fear and no confusion, there was still love. I did have people that rejected me (and trust me those people are not a part of my perfect fantasy). But coming out is not perfect, and deep down, the people that love me, in a symbolic sense, really are just like the people in my fantasy, simply toasting me and smiling with kindness. Sometimes we just have to be patient and let some people catch up to the party. In my mind, David, you are at my party, and I am toasting you my friend!

  3. I love this imagery of the banquet. Coming out is a scary experience and it would be wonderful if instead it could be a coming-of-age celebration akin to a sweet sixteen or a Bar Mitzvah. This teared me up too.

    • Emanuel, thank you so much for sharing how this post affected you. Your kind words mean the world to me. I agree with you, coming out should be a beautiful right of passage where we feel loved and appreciated. This imagery was fun and therapeutic to write.

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