My Coming Out Experience.

As far as I can remember I have always thought of how I liked boys, wanting to play doctor with them, how I wanted to kiss them. From the way I was brought up I had a hard time accepting that I might be gay. It was mostly a religious thing. Then I finally found myself twenty-four years into my life and accepted the truth that David Jonathan Syczylo is gay. Here is my story.

“Did I suspect anyone in my family to know that I amgay?” before I actually came out as gayl?
I have a fairly strong connection with my sister. So I would have to say, yes. When I told her I was gay or more yet gay she told me that she and her husband have always known and they were just waiting for me to say it. She was happy that I first came out to her. We had a talk about it and it made me feel better.

I suspected my brother and his wife to know that I am gay, they sometimes made gay hints around me and I just ignore them. Sometimes I saw them eyeing me and it seems to me that they knew. Neither of them have ever come out and asked me directly if I am gay or even bi-sexual. When I told my brother and his wife that I was gay . My brothers wife said that “Yeah” she knew from when she first met me and it was about time I came out.

When it came to my parents, who are very conservative and my dad being old school Roman Catholic in religion it was hard for me to bring up the topic. After I told my brother he went and told my mom for me. I was glad my brother and his wife told my mom when she found out she was not upset at all. A little surprised but not upset. She just asked me if I was sure and I said yes. She then told me to be very careful and she told me she wants me to be happy. Then it comes to my dad. I do not know how he will handle that his youngest son being gay, a faggot as he would say if I ever told him. I have never actually came out to my dad. I am fairly sure other family members or my mom have sat with him and talked about it. He just does not say anything. He is the one person that I have not come out to directly and most likely never will unless he asks me first.

So when did I know that I was gay and then some.
I have had a few sexual relationships both heterosexual (straight) and homosexual (gay).

I can't really remember when I started to have feelings for other guys or girls. I have always felt some attraction, more towards men. It has been a life long process. I can remember when I was young playing "gay games" with other kids. Back then it was ok we were kids having fun kissing each other and what not. Then as time went on things started to change. Puberty was setting in and the feelings inside started growing stronger, more sexual.

One of my earliest memories of being attracted to another guy and acting upon those feelings was when I nine or ten years old. Brian was a guy who I got along with very much. At the time (the mid to late 1980’s) Spandex shorts and pants was all the thing to be wearing. Brian always wore spandex shorts and pants. I remember always sitting next to him in class touching and rubbing his leg under the table. He did not seem to mind it. For some reason I just loved touching and feeling his leg under the Spandex. Like I said Spandex is a real turn on for me.
Now a days Brian is happy with his boyfriend Tom.

Another memory I have was when I was in the 8th grade and we had our Washington DC trip. We had to share beds at the hotel. This was the first time that I slept with another guy in the same bed. I remember it was new to me and very exciting. It was the first time someone held me in his arms while sleeping. I did not know if Bobby (the guy I shared the bed with) was gay at the time or not. But I do know now that he is. I have not heard from him since school.

It was not until High School that my feelings got the better of me. I experimented and sexually slept with girls and I somewhat started to be sexually involved with other guys, just no penetrative sex. I was having a real hard time during this time of my life. All my teachings of religion started to conflict with my everyday life and when confronted about how I was doing I lied. I said I was ok. In reality I was not,
I was confused, I knew that I was different or something was wrong with me.

All through High School I made friends with people that I knew were Gay, Bi-Sexual, or Lesbian. Some of the other guys at school started to wonder about me and my choice of friends. I never played sports, went to football games, or did any of the guy things that they were into. No I was the guy who was working in the office, a teacher's aide, on the school news paper, hall monitor, student mentor to helping out with the local police department and being someone who you could come to talk to. Since I was no longer with the “In Crowd” they started to tease me, calling me gay, a fag, and a queer just because of whom I chose to hang around with and the way I spent my time. It really hurt me inside. I tried to ignore them but I could not. I was being called out as gay. But I denied being gay though I knew I might be. You all know that growing up and have someone saying you are gay while in High School is the last thing you want to have happen. I did not know how much longer I could hide my feelings for other guys. During this time of my life I was hurting so much that I wanted it to all end. I seriously thought about suicide. But I knew that that was not the answer. One of my classmates who I did not know that well and just started to get to know took his own life for he was also called out and harassed, only he had more than he could handle. His death hit me hard and I realized I was stronger than that.

I learned to close myself off from people and I did not have much interaction with anyone expect for a few close friends who knew what I was going through on the inside. I kept my mind busy with schoolwork and after school activities. I did go to Senior Prom with my close friend Kim who was the biggest tomboy that I have ever met. Kim is now Sean. Yeah she is now a he and still a good friend till this day.

When college started I really did not know where I stood in life sexually. My life came to a new beginning. I thought maybe I was not gay, that it was just a phase. I started to date a girl for my first long term, non-sexual relationship. It lasted a whole 3 months. During our time together she kept saying that she knew I was a closet gay. I kept telling her no I was not. No she was right. I was in the closet but I did not accept it. I thought being with a woman I would change. How wrong I was. No matter how hard I tried to hide my feelings I was still attracted to men.

As my college life progressed I found that some people in college are more open-minded and are more accepting of gay people for who they are and not for what they are. There are still those homophobic ones out there. There always will be but I just try my best to stay away from them. One of my biggest fears in life is getting beat down by a bunch of Homophobes.

During this time of my life I met a few guy friends and we hung out and again those feeling started to emerge. I was again being attracted to men. I started to view gay Internet message boards trying to find out whom I was, find some answers to the questions I had, to see if I was normal. I found myself looking at more gay porn sites than anything else. I knew I was attracted to men but I still did not accept it fully.

I started making friends with other people who were my age and bi / gay / lesbian. A friend from college (Kyle) asked me if I would ever have sex with another man. Before I even thought about it I said "yes". He kissed me on the cheek. I was happy that another guy kissed me. It let out some emotions that I have been holding in for so long. After that I could no longer hide from my feelings, I accepted to myself that yes I might be gay but I still had a hard time dealing with it due to my religious upbringing. I could not be gay, could I? We got close and somewhat fooled around. We even worked on our final project for class together as a team. Nothing really juicy happened between us. Being with Kyle really opened my eyes and heart but religious teachings were still cutting in. I was only nineteen and did not know what to do.

After that event in my life I have not been close with another person for some time. I once again closed myself off from people. Then I became good friends with Geoff who I first met in my sculpting class. After being friends for just over a year he said that he had something very important to tell me and if I did not want to be his friend anymore he would understand. I knew what he wanted to say he was somewhat flamboyant. So he flat out told me that he was gay and was afraid to say anything because he thought I was very religious since I wore a Catholic cross around my neck. I never really talked about my life that much.
Though I no longer wear the cross around my neck I still believe that there is an all-powerful creator / entity / force out there but we will never know who or what it is. I told him that I did not care if he was gay or not. After awhile I told him that I thought that I might also be gay. After I told him that I thought I was gay and having trouble dealing with it we became a bit closer more that friends to each other and started to hang out more. I started to loosen up and accept that this was ok but not around my family. As things took their course one night we slept together. I gave into my feelings and this is when I definitely knew that YES I am gay and no longer could I hide from my feelings for other guys. It had been awhile since I was with another man and it felt more comfortable to me than being with a woman. I learned to accept the truth that I was a gay man. I just could not tell anyone, not yet.

Within the next few days as I was thinking about what I had done with Geoff I felt bad on the inside but knew it was the right thing to have done. Still attending church at the time I went and talked to my priest. Father Richards told me
not to be ashamed. As we talked things out he reassured me that I am a good person who cares for others. He said something along the lines of “God loves all his children and he will not turn you away. God made you the way you are because God knows you are up to the challenge of being a gay man in this world of ours. When it is your turn to stand before God he will welcome you into his kingdom with open arms.” The words he said really made me feel good on the inside. I thanked him and I remember that day going to the canal to sit and think about what I was told. In my mind I started to accept who I was. I met with Father Richards over several months. Talking with him, a man of God really helped me in my time of need.

During this time of my life I became really depressed and let my depression get the better of me for a time. Why I was depressed? I can tell you. I knew I was gay. The only person at this time who really knew was Geoff and Father Richards. I was holding it inside of me, not letting anyone know. That was not going to last long, I knew I had to do something.

While in college at the end of the fall semester in 2001 I met Matthew Shepard's mother, Judy Shepard. She was in town doing a lecture about acceptance and tollerance. I being the scared kid sat in the very back listening to her words. After the lecture as people were leaving, hanging out, ect she approached me. I looked up and she that she noticed me sitting in the back looking like a deer in the headlights. She sat down next to me and for about ten minutes we talked. She asked me if I was having issues and I said yes. I remember she stood up and gave me the biggest hug that I have ever had and needed. She told me when the time is right I will know who I am, to be proud and not to be ashamed.

The Big Day that I finally came out January 29th, 2002.
On January 29th, 2002 I decided to attend the school Advocate meeting. It was the day to finally come out or not. I knew in my heart that I was gay but to actually tell the people I surround myself with was another story.

I went down to campus two hours early to find the building where the Advocate meeting was being held. After I found out where the room was located I became scarred. I started to panic and my hands started to get all sweaty. I left the building and sat outside on the steps far away from everyone else. I was sheltering myself again. For over an hour I sat there trying to decide if I was going to go to the meeting. Anyone who looked at me could tell I was nervous about something.

About thirty minutes until the meeting was to start I decided yes that I would go inside. I went in and sat in the lobby. My hands started to shake very rapidly and my leg was all jumpy. Anyone who looked at me could tell that I was extremely nervous at this point. As I sat there I saw people going into the room. It was now almost 4:00pm, time for the Advocate meeting to start. I stood up, walked in, and started to turn around as soon as I got to the door I felt that I could not go through with this, I was just too scared. It seemed like an hour passed just standing there in the door while I thought to myself "Well FUCK! I am here let's do this" slowly I turned back around and I sat down.

The meeting started off by introducing ourselves, telling if we were Gay, Bi, Lesbian, Transgender, Curious, ect and to tell where we heard of the Advocate. When it was my turn I told them that was leaning more to liking guys
and just starting to accept myself for who I am. I told my story and everyone was very nice and accepting. Things were far better than what I thought they would be there was no judging of who we are. After the meeting as I was walking to my vehicle, I completely stopped, for some reason I was just overwhelmed with pure joy. It was a feeling like I have never felt before. Like the old cliché says it felt like a ton of bricks were lifted from my shoulders.
I did it!
I came out.
I was accepted.
I felt free, a feeling that I have not felt for the longest of time.

It has taken me a long time to fully come out to myself, the first 24-years of my life. I now know deep down, that I am gay and I feel comfortable being who I am. Yes, I am a gay man, a gay man with issues of religion that I have now learned to deal with thanks to Father Richards.