I haven’t written in a while because I haven’t learned any lessons lately. I’ve been waiting for something to happen to me, but there have been no crazy new experiences to reflect upon and no big events that have spurred any major realization. I haven’t been on many dates because I’ve been having too much start-of-summer fun with friends, and I really haven’t spent much time thinking about my sexuality at all. So I’ve been waiting.
The more I’ve waited, though, the more I’ve begun to appreciate the lack of “experiences” happening in my life. Coming out, as I’ve written, has been exhausting, and over the past few weeks I have realized that the massive fear, exhilaration, and chaos of it all have finally calmed down.
I have stopped thinking about my identity as a gay person as this huge cloud of confusion and newness following me everywhere I go. In fact, in many ways I have stopped thinking about my identity as a gay person at all. I have begun to think only about my holistic identity—the kind of human being I want to be, the kind of job I want to have, the places I want to travel, and yes, the kind of girl I want to love.
Now, however, when I think about this faceless girl I’ll someday spend my life with, the fact that she is a girl does not feel heavy or noteworthy to me. It feels normal and natural. Now when people I don’t know well bring up dating in front of me, my heart doesn’t start to race. Sometimes I am even the one to bring it up. I am no longer afraid to casually say “she” when referring to a girl I like in conversations, and I am no longer hesitant to chat with friends about my love life in the backseat of an Uber–what the driver might think no longer worries me.
It has been nice these past few weeks to see that, while I of course have so much more to learn, being gay has finally integrated with all the other pieces of my life. It isn’t this giant, abstract concept anymore. It isn’t this ‘thing’ that I’m stuck with that frustrates me and makes me want to hide. It is just me, well, a part of me, and I have grown to appreciate the exquisite monotony to which my life has finally returned.
I am so proud and happy to be gay, and I am so lucky to live surrounded by people who are much more concerned with who I am than who I date. I am so excited for all of the adventures still to come, and I know there will be a lot more lessons to write about on this blog. But I do think that overall, they are morphing into life lessons that have far less to do with being gay and far more to do with being human. After almost one year, being out no longer feels amazingly exciting or intensely distressing or like a gigantic relief. It’s just life now, just ordinary, and I never thought I could be so happy for the initial thrill of something to fade away.
It turns out that not learning lessons has helped me learn one of the most important lessons that I can, which is that I am so much more than my sexuality. Being gay does not have to consume my life all the time, just as being straight wouldn’t have to either. I needed this year to get comfortable with all of it. I needed it to consume my life for a little while because not letting myself think about it was what kept me in the closet for so long in the first place. For a little while, I needed to think about it all the time to figure out when I need to be thinking about it and when I don’t, and now that I’ve begun to understand, everything just feels a little lighter.