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But then, other times, it doesn’t feel that way at all. I remember learning, as a young kid, that my uncle Jerry was gay.As my family saw it and explained it to me, he was born that way. These were the early days of the AIDS epidemic, “the gay plague,” as some brashly called it, and I remember debating with other kids in my conservative Oklahoma hometown, laboring to explain what I knew to be true: that gay people are born gay, the same way I was born with white skin and blue eyes., I got into bed, switched off the light, and suddenly was hit with a very bad idea, an almost electric impulse to write about my father’s death.
I don’t know what word to call myself – gay, lesbian, bi, queer – and I don’t really care.But a year and a half ago – after 36 years of loving only men, and a decade of loving a particularly good one – something in me shifted without my permission, and it wouldn’t go back to the way it had been, no matter how hard I wished it would.I could interrogate myself, park myself under fluorescent lights in a cinderblock room and go after myself like Vincent d’Onofrio in .I don’t have particularly eloquent words for it – just . I never imagined June as a child of divorced parents. In some ways, it feels like we’ve actually had a huge success, like we’re actually succeeding right now – just in a way I didn’t predict, and a way that’s hard to explain. If you’d told me two years ago that this could happen to a person – that “sexual fluidity” was a thing, that the search term “late-blooming lesbian” is a real gold mine in Google – I would have nodded politely and privately, internally, rolled my eyes.Sometimes it feels like we failed, like there’s something everyone else knows that we don’t, something everyone else is doing right. About a year and a half ago, in June of 2015, I experienced something that I didn’t know could happen in adulthood. I’ve caught myself doing exactly that, thinking exactly that, when I’ve heard about people who’ve lived for years in the straight world – friends-of-friends, celebrities, strangers – coming out as gay, lesbian, or queer.