Tell us your coming-out-of-pandemic isolation stories and tell us how you’re surviving.
I was born in Detroit in 1963, in a time when I remember only too well the fear and isolation of being the only black person in the building (unless you were a janitor like me). The first time I saw my mother after my birth, she just kind of sat on the curb in the lobby of our hospital and cried. My birth certificate, though, said she was black, not white. She was biracial and we later discovered through DNA tests that she was half white and half black. And when people find out I am bi, they assume the worst. People will ask how the father is, if he exists. I have to do my best to explain that my mother was in love with the last person in the world to love her and that he was gone before I was born. I have to tell this story with a smile, to be sure.
I am still working on telling it with a smile. My dad was an incredibly intelligent man who was obsessed with the idea that I was black and not white. He would always say “My little darkie, so happy, don’t you wish it were white?” and I am sorry to say I wish it could have been. I also love my black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white-black-white-black dad because he understood what it was like for people to be different and he was always there to take care of me and give me the love and support of a black man (and a man to which I am completely in love).
But I have been afraid for so long, even though my parents were on good terms and I could have been in school and he could have walked me to class on those days I had to work. I remember coming out to my parents that I was gay, and even though he had no idea I was bi, they did not understand until I started telling them, which was after I moved to L.A. with two roomm