Three years ago Friday, a good friend of mine from my undergrad days came out of the closet. It was one of those moments where you will always remember where you were and what you were doing at the time, like when Kennedy was shot, Henderson scored the winning goal, and when the towers fell. I was working at the law library at the time, it was early afternoon, there was no one else in the room, and I'm pretty sure it was snowing. In his email, he acknowledged that some people would reject him for this admission, and he was prepared for that.
I was shocked for two reasons - firstly, because I never suspected it at all (I have non-functioning gaydar - just ask me about my two major high school crushes!), and secondly because I couldn't understand why someone would reject his friendship for such a flimsy reason. He hadn't changed anything in his basic nature - he just came clean about his sexuality. It didn't change the fact he was one of the smartest and most politically astute guys I knew, or that he was snarky and opinionated, and could sit in Tim Horton's until 3am talking department gossip with myself and another friend.
We haven't talked lately, but neither of us were good at the whole correspondence thing. I might send him a quick email to tell him what's up, and I'll get a short reply in response. However, it doesn't stop me from worrying about him every time I hear some narrow-minded bigot declare that homosexuals are evil or wrong or somehow not worth of the same rights and protections as everyone else. If you prick them, do they not bleed as well?
So, this is just to say that I hope he's okay and that he's made peace with his decision, and that next time he's around, we really need to go to Timmy's and get caught up.