Fabio's Coming Out Story
To celebrate National Coming Out Day and the return of Queersay we reached out to our community to see if they would share their stories with us. We received some lovely personal stories and now, with their permission, we are sharing them with you.
Here is Fabio’s story for you!
Growing up as a teenager I was never censured by my family in my hobbies and forms of expression. I’d collect lollipop stickers of Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys, my clothing choices were bold and eccentric, and I’d play “Fame” with my younger cousin in our makeshift rehearsal room a.k.a. stage a.k.a. living-room carpet. I would be even perfecting my own aerobics routine in front of a vertical mirror at the sound of Euro- and Italodance raging back in the early 2000s (Eiffel 65 or Gigi D’Agostino anyone?) after at school I had to go train with the girls coz in my school boys and girls would do P.E. separately and no other boy wanted to do aerobics.
This went all smooth until I turned 17 and I got caught by surprise. It was a normal day, until my mother decided to grab me unexpectedly around the waist and started slow-dancing with me at the music our stereo was playing. To add to the awkwardness she asked abruptly “how come you don’t have a girlfriend like your (twin) brother?”. I don’t remember what went through my mind but I remember blacking out and just saying: “Well, maybe because I’m gay”. I still remember reacting surprised to my own words, bringing a hand in front of my mouth and producing a squeaking sound that ended with a mix of shock and relief: “Omg, I said it”.
The surprise for me came from the fact that I had never conceptualised what a coming out really was until I actually did it. At school I was just being me and even if that made me the target of homophobic slur, I would just vehemently reply with my own heterophobic slur, although that never went further than insulting someone for being ‘Straight!’ with the same look Greta Thunberg has when she sees Donald Trump.
So I stood there. My mum staring at me. She didn’t believe me at first: “you’re an attention seeker” or “it’s just a phase” - she would say. I begged her not to tell my dad, but of course she went straight to him. Maybe because he didn’t hear it from me but through my mum, he reacted differently. He skipped denial altogether and being the Freudian-trained psychotherapist that he is, he went straight to pain and guilt and said immediately that for him my homosexuality was a problem.
To make a long story short, despite the initial reaction we managed not only to understand each other, but also to grow as people. It took time, lots of talking and some re-adjustment. It turned out that my dad had a problem with my homosexuality because the only example he ever had of a gay man wasn’t positive and he was afraid I’d grow up alone.
If this is on the one hand the end of this story, my coming-out was just the beginning of my personal and emotional development, and actually not only mine. My father tells even to this day what an impact my coming-out had on him and how grateful -yes, he does use that word- he is for growing as a person after I came out. A reaction like that it’s not a given. I was lucky. But I guess you never know how you-being-you impacts you and others until you do it.
Happy coming out day.