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Coming Out & Coming In: 2 Lessons from Maine

Matt and I were talking about our vacation to Maine. It's hard to believe we've actually been together a whole year now. So much has happened. I've met the boy of my dreams. Fallen in love. Lost my virginity. Gone to my school Prom with my boyfriend. Graduated High School. Just returned from a one-week vacation as a graduation present from Matt's aunt and uncle. Unbelievable. Friggin' unbelievable! Except it's all true!

It's was obvious to everyone at the Bed and Breakfast that we were a couple. I mean, duh! The owners of course knew because they're friends of Matt's aunt and uncle. Each of the other three couples probably figured it out in like 30 seconds. No way they would figure we were brothers (how many brothers our age hold hands, call each other things like "babe" or "sweetie," or kiss?) or even think we were best friends.

I've been out as gay since I was 15. I'm 18 now. It still amazes me how in some ways it is easy to come out to people, and how it terrifies me in other situations. Going to the B & B made me nervous. I mean, we were going to be spending a week with three other (unknown) couples and there are never any guarantees about what people are going to think (which I don't worry about all that much) but you never, ever know how they are going to treat you. That I worry about. I mean, this vacation was a graduation present for me and it was the first vacation Matt and I have ever taken. I wanted it to be perfect for both of us.

It ended up being about as perfect a vacation as I could have hoped for. One couple was a little stand-offish at first, and they didn't interact a whole lot with us like the other two couples did. They didn't say or do anything that was rude or offensive, so we have that to be thankful for. They were sorta noticing us, but not really including us in things, which is their right. I mean, no big deal.

The other two couples, and the owners, were totally accepting and inclusive of us. One of the women nudged her hubby one evening while everybody was in the Common Room in front of the fireplace after dinner. Me and Matt were sorta cuddling and enjoying the conversation and all the questions they had about how we met, going to the prom together, our families, etc. The wife said to her hubby something like, "Now, watch those two sweet boys, Harold, and learn something about romance." Harold turned three shades of red but he, and everybody, just got into the moment. We were all having a blast. How totally cool was that?

They all called us "Sleepy Heads" when we came down a little late for breakfast each morning, and seemed to enjoy making really cute and playful comments about how we were enjoying our bedroom! Man, it was almost unreal. Totally, totally wonderful!

I got to thinking about how "Coming Out" also included the opportunity to "Come In" as a whole person, if that makes any sense. I mean, coming out is something that comes from inside you and is directed to others. By "coming in" I mean that you "come into" a more complete person when you can just be your whole self with others.

I noticed that I learned more about myself when Matt and I were in a safe place to just be ourselves. I mean, we didn't have to censor anything we said or did in front of them. I felt like something really amazing and important was happening "in" me as a result of being "out" and completely myself there. I felt, I don't know, more mature, more whole as a person, more confident, more hopeful. I kept telling Matt that I was beginning to understand what "joy" is all about. I also began to feel "fully alive." I know this may sound like a lot of clich├ęs, but, believe me, inside it was almost overwhelming. I guess that's what I mean when I say that "coming out" is an opportunity to "come in"..... to come into you're true self.... to be a part of life without hiding, so be seen for who you really are.

Writing about all this is making me so happy. I feel a lot more hopeful about the future -- our future. I feel like I'm "coming into" more of who I am as a whole person! What more could I ask for?
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