The Journey Continues, My Coming Out Story
A year after coming out I grew so much as a person and also as a gay person, I have so much to tell. Where to begin? Well, let me start by saying I went to the only classroom for lesbian, gay, bi, transgendered youth. The name of the school is the Triangle Program. I learned a lot about the program and the people I work with. I would love to talk more about school but it would be too long and that would be my only story if I did.
I didn't get to go to my high school prom and every year Triangle has an annual Pride prom. I decided to join the Pride Prom Committee and I had a great time working and volunteering. We worked for six months on the Pride Prom and this year the theme was Red Hot Ride Prom.
I got really excited about it. I couldn't believe it, my first prom and it was a gay prom! My best friend Sparkle did my hair and make up. I was going for a gothic look. But instead she made me look like my idol, the one and only Miss Whitney Houston. All I needed was some boobs and Dolce & Gabanna clothing. God, I looked like a girl! Well, enough about me talking about me looking like a girl. Sparkle came with me and I had a date and his name was E. My God, E. had more work done than Cher. Anyways, enough about my date - back to me. Oh, yeah, my other friends came as well like Tony, Masa, Ben and Fred. I was also hoping that the man of my dreams, J. would come, but I'll give the dirt on him later.
I decided to run for the Pride Prom queen contest. I was just doing it for fun and my attitude on it was at least I tried. The last thing on my mind was winning. I was nervous but excited when the host of this year's Prom, Enza Supermodel, called my name as the nominees lined up. After saying my name I had to describe myself in two words, I said: "real and artistic".
In April, Patty at Triangle told me about this great summer program. A month later I went to a group interview at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre for their annual Queer Youth Summer Program. And I was nervous as hell. The people who interviewed us were Franco, Andrea and Adrienne. My attitude towards the program was the same as it was towards the prom, to give my all and try to get in. And the weird thing is that's been my attitude since the Pride Prom and winning it. And after the group interview, I went to a 1 on 1 interview. Then they decided they would call all of us the next week. I was stressed out the whole week during the agonizing wait for that damn phone call. And I also have to mention that I was not the only one from Triangle that tried out for that program. So it was competition time.
Let's talk about J. now. Usually guys like J. I don't pursue because they're gorgeous. And guys like that I don't pay attention to. But what the hell, I've been having a good streak lately so I might as well go for it. I pursued his damn ass for two months and that was a big mistake. I learned my lesson about guys: never pursue them for two months. It might have worked out but he was so busy I never found out. It's not my loss; it's his.
So a week later I got a phone call from Andrea. And the thing about getting a phone call in these kinds of situations is that they don't tell you right away, but they torture you by making you wait. So we're talking for a few minutes and she finally spilled the beans and she said, "Guess what, Francis? You're in the program." And my reaction, I was screaming like a little girl. The thing I kept saying was, "I love you, Andrea! " over and over.
We studied theatre and art for the entire month of July. And I think the main purpose for having us do that was to gear us up for the theme of the show. One day we were dong this exercise and Franco came up to me and he told me to go in the women's dressing room and put on a dress. The first thing on my mind was "what the hell"? … And then I was looking around at my co-workers… and not to be conceited but I was probably the only guy who was going to look good in a dress! I think to myself, "what the hell, what do I have to lose"? So from that moment on, something in me came out and I don't know what the hell that was. So for me, I felt like this was like a coming out but in drag. If felt just as scary as coming out the first time being gay. This is a new thing for me. I found another side to me that I haven't really explored yet.
So in the final days of Buddies, I had to come up with a way for my character to emerge. The thing with my character though is that I had to be a man from the beginning and transform into this goddess: Ru Paul. So the way for the audience to see my transformation is for them to come in my dressing room personally and watch me undress. So the audience came through my door in groups of ten at a time. I didn't know who would walk through that door. At first I was nervous and frightened as hell. But if I'm going to put on a great piece and to make it really believable and raw, I have to go all the way and risk everything. The show was a success on the first night. The second show the following night was another story. Well, my best friend was coming and my Mom, but I didn't really think my Mom was going to come.
So I go, "what the hell, just put on another great show and give my all again". All the audience groups went by. And then I thought, "as usual my parents didn't come". So the last audience group came in and my best friend Sparkle and her boyfriend came in with this group and I was really excited and happy. And then my Mom came in and I thought, "great", "oh my God, she came". So I felt like I had to really give a good performance because they were there. But wait! The unexpected of all things - my damn Dad came! He walked in and the first thing on my mind was, "oh my God have mercy on me"!!
So I started getting really nervous. So my Dad was just giving me looks like "Oh my God, my son is a woman"! I just started doing my piece really quickly, stuffing my bra and putting my wig on. And I just kept grabbing my fake boobs and adjusting them. Even though on the outside I seemed cool, on the inside I was a big mess. Then they left and I thought, thank God that's over. Other than that the play was a total success.
The ironic thing is that you're always going to have to come out in different ways, no mater what, until the end of time. Just because you came out the first time, there's always going to be so many more coming out experiences ahead. My journey has just begun.