By: Joey Uva Enoch
As a young boy I knew I was different but never really knew how or why. I remember in the 4th grade there was a boy named Steve in my class; he was much tougher than I was and walked me home every single day of that school year. Still today, I don’t know if he walked me home to protect me because he knew I was different or if he felt different too and found unity in our daily walk.
It took me 27 years to come out as a gay man. I had a teenaged girlfriend and even got married at the age of 23. Would my life have been easier if I came out earlier on? This is a question I really can’t answer. Today, at the age of 46, these are the happiest days of my life. I have a partner of six years and someday soon, will be able to say we are married. I have a daughter who is seven years old –around the same age that I was when I began to question why I felt different. My coming out as a gay man has allowed me to express the true me, create the family I have always wanted, and find the peace and joy that my seven-year-old self was always looking for.
Last night, I went with Trevor and our good friends Billy and Albert to the “Born This Way” book launch event. The book is a spin off from Paul Vitagliano’s Born This Way Blog site – BornThisWayBlog.com, which has received national and worldwide attention. It’s a powerful and honest look at LBGTQ adults from their childhood experience. Paul V.’s creation of his blog and now the book are an inspiration that serves as a vehicle of awareness and understanding for our current generation of parents and children, so that they may thrive and become their true self and find a voice.
To purchase the Born This Way Book you can go to:
October 11, 2012 is National Coming Out Day – HRC National Coming Out Day Be proud of who you are, celebrate yourself, and find your voice.