I came out to my parents when I was sixteen. Neither of them were upset, though both of them were shocked. You see, I'm not the stereotypical image of a gay man. I look like an athlete, a big, huge muscle-bound athlete. I've always looked that way and so I played into it. I played sports all throughout high school and college. Football, baseball, hockey, soccer. It didn't matter what I was playing as long as there were sweaty men involved.
My mother became the most supportive "gay mother" that I've ever known. She joined PFLAG, she marched in pride parades, protested, signed petitions, she even joined Twitter so that she could meet more gays and get involved.
My father was another story entirely. While he didn't disown me or disparage me about what he called my "lifestyle choice," we never talked about it...ever. When I brought boyfriends over for dinner he ignored them or treated them like they were just my friends and not my boyfriends. As it was, after a few times of his indifference, I stopped bringing them over.
Other than that my life was pretty normal. I went to work, hung out with my friends, all of whom are gay, went on a couple of dates, worked out religiously, was extremely active in gay rights and spent an exorbitant amount of time online blogging and tweeting.
Yes, my life was predictable and boring. The thing is, I didn't know that it was. I lived in blissful ignorance of how stale I was. I watched my friends fall in love, get married, start families and thought that my time would surely come and I didn't have to change my routine at all.
I have never been so wrong in my life. There were so many missed opportunities, missed friendships, missed chances at relationships. As a result, not only was I blissfully ignorant of how boring my life was, I was also ignorant of life in general. Which I guess is the only excuse, or explanation, that I can offer for a lot of the mistakes that I made. It is a common misconception that gays are extremely promiscuous or worldly, that as soon as we "come out" we instantly become knowledgeable of all things "sexually gay", all things worldly, all things business, real estate, political, fashionable or social. We have to learn things just like everyone else.
It's just that we tend to look so much more fashionable while we're learning it.
I was actually still pretty ignorant by the time I met Roman, who was still technically Rachelle at the time. The good thing is that my ignorance of life in general made me ignorant of how people who were transgender or bigender were "supposed" to be treated and viewed. There was just something about Roman that called to me, something I responded to, something that made me long for him and fall in love with him. I have never been so happy to be so ignorant in all of my life.