All it takes is a look and I know

Sometimes it's when we're driving in the car.

Or when we're in the kitchen and trying to get dinner ready.

Other times it's when we're watching TV or when we're simply alone at the end of the day.

Whatever it is that we're doing, it's that moment that she stops. She looks at me. I look up at her and she's smiling. I smile back. Sometimes the look in her eyes makes me shy even after all of these months. Her smile grows when I smile. The look in her eyes is so intense sometimes that I feel like she's looking straight into my soul. Feelings like that used to unnerve me. With her, they just make me warm inside. I feel like I have been waiting my whole life just for her. For these exact moments. I can have the worst day ever, and that one look turns it completely around. Whatever is wrong with the world, she makes it right in my world.

Sometimes she reaches and touches my face, other times we just sit there staring into each other, lost in the moment. I know what she's going to say and my heart races every time as if it were the first time she has said it.

"I love you."

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The light at the end of the closet

My closet is collapsing. Quickly.

Apparently my closet was never really stealthy to begin with. When I come out to people, most say, "I know." A lot make it about themselves.

"I just don't understand why you didn't feel you could trust me?" "Did I do something to make you feel like you couldn't tell me?"

Others don't understand why I just don't come out already. I mean, everyone already knows anyway, right?

Obviously, I can't speak for every gay person who has been in the closet, so I'll just speak for myself. I thought the closet was my lifeline. I thought I needed it. There was a time, not so long ago, that I thought that I needed to hide this part of me for the rest of my life. I felt like I could be gay as long as no one close to me knew. I thought that I could never date someone in my same city because *gasp* people would find out. I was afraid that if some people in my life found out, that I would be physically harmed because I grew up believing that it is not okay to be gay. So, I tucked myself firmly in the closet and decided that I could be happy there. The world is scary. My closet was safe. I mean, security blankets are a good thing, right? The closet was my security blanket.

Except that it wasn't.

Oh, at first it was. I felt happier than I had been in a long time because I had admitted to myself that I liked women and that was okay. But the more and more that I discovered my true self and strived to become the truest version of myself that I could be, the smaller my closet became. I didn't like hiding who I really was. So, I made a decision...

I would tell a few people. That is what I would do.

With a few people knowing, my closet didn't seem so small anymore. I could breathe again. There were times now in which I could be myself and the other times, I could just hide out in my closet and I could be happy with that. For a while, it was all I needed. I was once again happier than I had ever been. Until that wasn't enough anymore. Once again, my closet was suffocating me.

It had become my prison.

I knew at that time that I couldn't stay in the closet. I had to come out to everyone, including my family. And exactly how does an analytical coward do something like that?

She makes a game plan. Slowly but surely, I began to come out.

I'm still coming out.

Right now, my parents do not "know." I say "know" because I know my mom knows. And I think that she knows I know she knows. I just haven't said those three big words. Despite all of the reassuring words that she's given me and the fact that she loves my girlfriend and the fact that I know she loves me and just wants me to be happy, I just haven't been able to come out with it. I'm a wuss.

Here's the thing about coming out (for me anyway)... You have to feel safe. You have to know that all is going to be okay before you put yourself in a possible life changing situation. I didn't always feel safe. In fact, for a long time I was so afraid that I thought I could never come out. I thought I had to deny myself love. All it took for one person that I thought would reject me to tell me that "it's part of who you are" and "of course, I still love you" for me to know that everything was going to be okay. When I look back on this past year or so when I began to make my game plan, I feel.... proud. Yes. I'm proud. I've come a long way to that scared woman who didn't think she would ever be able to be her true self all of the time. I know that I need to completely come out and I know that the longer I wait, the harder it may be in certain situations, I also know there is no "perfect moment" in this situation. But, I will come all the way out of my closet. I can see the light, and for right now? That feels good.

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