I've finally come out to most of the people in my life. It started with my friends in the middle of last year, then most of the people at work over the last 12 months or so and then the parents around my birthday.
The whole process has been relatively pain free. No one has had the adverse reaction that I was told to expect (mum is slowly coming around, but that's another story). A few friends were a little standoff-ish to start with, but their behaviour soon went back to normal - the usual excessive swearing and drinking in my presence.
But there was one woman at work who I just couldn't bring myself to tell. I was her boss for a period of time and she managed some really difficult teams and projects for me, so I have a lot of respect for her. She's also a bit like a second mum to me as well. I just didn't have the heart to tell her.
Well, that all changed last week. She asked me why I was looking so happy lately (I obviously look like a cranky old cunt most of the time) and before I could answer she chimed in with, "Don't tell me you've gone and found yourself a woman!".
I didn't even hesitate - "Fuck no Jen, I went and found myself a man. And he's fantastic." She paused for just a second and said "Why the hell didn't you tell me you were gay?". And we carried on just like nothing had changed - and of course nothing has.
There is one weird thing that has happened though. She's turned into a "toucher". We were always friendly, but now the body contact has jumped a few notches.
A kiss hello and a hug goodbye. Well lots of people do that - nothing strange there.
A gentle touch of my hand here and there. Hmmm a bit more intimate, but no need for alarm.
Casually rubbing my back during a meeting. Ok - that's just a little bit out there.
I'm not uncomfortable with any of this. I have other female friends where we've always done that kind of thing. But this has almost been an instant change. It's quite nice really. She's obviously become a whole lot more comfortable around me. What more could I ask for from a friend?
But when she started talking about sex with me today at lunch... I had to change the topic.