Did you know that October 11 is celebrated annually as National Coming Out Day. The day was founded by Richard Eichberg (psycologist) and Jean O’leary (gay activist) in 1988. It’s meant to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and civil rights movement. And this day is observed through out the U.S. and several other countries. The name of the day stems from phrase “come out of the closet” when those that identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer plus anyone that does not identify as heterosexual, come out to their friends and family. It’s a significant moment in life and a time to celebrate the liberation of spirit for those that take the leap.
I remember this day, in fact I remember the week. I was in the middle of my retreat in Costa Rica. The love of my life is a chef and joined me that week, to throw down in the kitchen and cook some amazing food for our retreat guests. It was a extraordinary week for many reasons, one of them being that I would introduce my new love to my tribe for the first time. And just earlier that month, I had decided to come out to my family. October was a momentous month all around.
I can’t put words to the emotional roller coaster it is to come out of a closet. Especially if you didn’t really even know you were in one. My Beloved, Mey (that’s her name), came out over 20 years ago, and is the first woman, I’ve ever dated; God willing, the last. I can’t say that I’ve ever been sexually attracted to another woman before her. I can also say that I still find men attractive. So I'm not quite sure what to label myself, if there even is a label. Figuring out if I’m queer, bisexual or lesbian is a journey and one that will not happen overnight. Maybe just label me a woman in love, with another woman who is my teacher, my soul mate, my lover and friend. I don’t know why Mey was the catalyst that brought me out, but she is the one that would finally show me the love I've always yearned for.
There’s still a lot of learning and growing to go through, but I feel good about it. There’s still alot for me to figure out, motherhood, raising a 10 year step daugher, small town life, immigrant life, living in a Spanish speaking only family, earning enough income to support a family with hopes and dreams, and transitioning from single life to married life….
Yup, just a couple of months after starting to date, and one month after National Coming Out Day we are getting married. What!!! There’s a side of me says that things are happening way to fast, yet there’s that huge part of me that feels like time is of the essence and there’s no reason to wait. Do I have doubts, fears and worries? Absolutely, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t, but I can also say that I am whole heartedly in love with this woman. I can’t explain how it happened, it just did. Somewhere between me being her boss and us becoming friends, we fell in love. And if you ask her, she’d say that she started to fall in love with me while we were still working together. And some time after I quit, while we were friends, I fell in love with her.
Just a couple of months ago, I was single mingling, and living my best Black life at the beach. Now I’m getting ready to be a work from home mom, raising a tween daughter, thrilled about the photo of us in matching pajamas we’ll take infront of the tree this Christmas. I’ve longed to have a family of my own, and now it’s happening.
I spent the weekend talking to friends about the love of my life and how wonderful she is. And spent the other half of the weekend listening to love songs, feeling all the feels, finally understanding the heart felt words and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world to have finally found love… swooning over photos of us, anticipating how gorgeous we’ll look on our wedding day.
I was talking with a dear friend of mine, and I was sharing the many ways that the Universe has conspired to bring Mey and I together. I shared how if it were up to me, I would have taken my sweet ass time and waited years before any of this would have ever happened. I’ve been single so long, I don’t even know what it is to be in a relationship, let alone a real one like this. The love of my life has a track record of long lasting relationships, and all I’ve got is a list, miles long, of short term relationships, if you want to even call them that.
But Mey has given me so much already, our love is undeniable; a home, a family, stability, security, support, comfort and love. She’s knocked down every wall I had surrounding my heart, and opened it so wide I feel like a fool in love for the very first time. I’ve never had anyone, or rather I’ve never allowed anyone, to get near my heart long enough to love me the way she does.
I still don’t know a lot of things, but what I do know is that I have never felt a love like this before. Yes, I’m sure I sound like some Faith Evens/Stephanie Mills song, but honestly that is how I’ve felt since proclaiming my love for her. I feel like I live in some corny rom com. I can stare into her eyes forever, listen to her talk for hours, melt into her arms, get lost in her embrace and kiss her lips until the sun comes up. We’re drawn to each other like moths to a flame and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without her, now that she's in it.
The other day I’d started to get cold feet. So what do you do you when you are starting to have cold feet? Well, if you’re me, you call your future spouse and tell them SMDH. Yup, yes I did! And this woman that I’m about to marry, calmed my nerves, eased my fears and shared with me that she felt some of the same things. She reminded me that this is a second marriage for each of us. And neither of us felt any fears going into the first, because it wasn’t real. She reminded me that we are in this together, she reminded me it feels scary because it's true love. She reminded me that before we were lovers, were friends and that is a foundation for a love that last forever.
She’s right, this time, it feels more real and it feels like there’s a lot more at stake. And I can say for sure, that I am marrying this woman because I can’t imagine my life without her. I can see our future together and it’s amazing.
Not sure what a coming out story looks like, not sure there’s a format or a template, but this is my “out of the closet & off the market” story, and it’s just beginning. I hope it answers some questions for those who had them. And for those that choose to follow my journey, I'll continue to share. May it inspire, encourage and help someone else out there.
And if any of you out there feel like sharing your wedding moments of fear or doubt, or experience raising a step child, I’ d love to hear from you.
In the mean time,
Peace, love and blessing from my family to yours :)
PS: Check out our wedding registry here: https://www.zola.com/wedding/meyandmel
PPS: Same-sex marraige became legal in Costa Rica, May 26, 2020