Christopher Hoover

Late August 2008:  “Yeah, I’m gay.”

September 18, 2008:  “Hey, Priscilla.  I want to tell you something before I leave for Chicago.  But I don’t know how to tell you.”  What is it?  What did you do?  Are you like gay or something?  “I’m too scared to tell you.  Here, I’ll write it on this piece of paper and stick it in this envelope.  Take it.  But don’t open it until you see my car drive out of sight.  OK?”  Ugh, fine.  [Less than 10 minutes later…]  Are you serious?!  You’re gay!?  I totally knew it!  “Yeah, but I’m in the car now, so I’ll have to talk to you later.  Um, bye.”

Late September 2008:  “Hey, Senwhaa.  You know that thing we learned a few weeks ago about that guy?  Well, guess what?  I am too.”  Huh?  I’m confused.  “Do you remember those pictures we found of him and that other guy?  Well, yeah.”  OH MY GOODNESS…YOU’RE GAY!  “Yeah, but I need to go now, so I’ll call you later.  Um, bye.”

One week later:  “Hey, Nancy.  You know that thing about that guy that Senwhaa told us a few weeks ago?”  Yeah, I do.  Why?  Oh.  Are you gay, too?  “Um, yeah.”  How long have you known.  “For a long time, I guess.”  Well, who else knows?  “Just a few people.  But I can’t talk now.  Um, bye.”

Early November 2008:  “Hey, Erica.  I have a secret.”  What is it?  Are you gay?  “Well, let’s play a game.”  [ _’_  _ _ _.]  You’re gay!  I’ve always wanted a gay friend!  “Well, I guess you have me now.  But please don’t tell anyone.”  I promise I won’t.  But I’m so excited.  Who else knows?  Is that why I couldn’t hang out with you the other night?  “A few.  And yeah, that’s why.”  Oh, I’m so happy for you.  “Thanks, I guess.”

11:20 PM, New Year’s Eve 2008:  “Hey, Momma.  I have something to tell you and Daddy.”  [I go back to my bedroom.  And then I go into the closet to gather my thoughts, like I used to do as a kid.  And then the knob doesn’t turn.  I was stuck in the closet, literally.]

11:30 PM:  “Hey, I have something to tell y’all.  Um, well, I’m gay.”  Oh.  Is there a significant other?  “No.”  Well, just be safe, and use condoms.  [My father’s tears begin to flow.]  “Ok.  Well, Nancy is waiting in the driveway.  We’re going to see Senwhaa and Priscilla.”  Have fun.  “Bye.  See y’all later.”

11:35 PM:  Interested In:  Men

11:40 PM:  So, how did it go?  Did you do it?  “Well, I changed my profile info, which means I told my parents I’m gay.”  Chris, that’s the first time you’ve ever said ‘I’m gay’ without hesitating.

12:00 AM, New Year’s Day:  “Here’s to us:  Happy New Year!”

Yeah, I’m gay.