Paul Tiesse – Coming Out

“You don’t have to make a big issue about coming out.”

I didn’t really have what I would say [was] a per se coming out. Your family knows. I did tell my mother. That was probably my official coming out—to tell my mother. The first thing she did was call my sisters, because she was having a heart attack about it. Not that she wasn’t accepting, but she was just wondering. I was going through a bad time; [that] was why I told her. I have anxiety. I was going through some anxiety periods and I lost a lot of weight. [My mother] told my sisters. Of course, my one sister, who talked to a friend a mine who’s gay, said, “Well, does he have HIV?” That was her first thought, because I was so upset. And [my friend said,] “No, he doesn’t have HIV.”

I didn’t really come out to them specifically, “Well, I’m gay.” They pretty much figured it out. First off, because everybody knows I’m gay. Secondly, I would show up with a boyfriend at something, or a friend at something. They obviously then know. See: I have issues, I guess, with people having to say they “came out,” because you’re always coming out. If you say, “I came out to my family,” well, that means then that you have to say you come out to everybody all the time. I don’t think you have to. Maybe that’s a copout, but I don’t feel like you have to have this big coming out thing. People know you are [gay]. If they don’t and you feel like you need to tell them, then tell them. But you don’t really have to. My opinion: you don’t have to make a big issue about coming out.

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Source: Interview with Laura S. Hodgman on 15 November 2013.