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I was an only child

A hallmark of men who come out late in life is dearth of genuine friends. You can't get real with people if you are hiding something or in denial, etc. (I think I hold the world record in denial--more on that at some point.) I am part of a support group called HOW (Husbands Out to Wives) for men that are married and are gay/bi. We just finished the annual retreat and as each man poured their heart and anguish out, I just got overwhelmed by it. I am highly highly sensitive and my empathy is endless almost. But as I spent the weekend talking, learning, laughing, eating -- I began to regard these men as my brothers. (if anyone reading this is in a similar situation, please reach out to me)

I was an only child

when I sat in that

emotional and vulnerable

circle of men

each sharing and shaking

as the searing pain in their lungs dissipated

from breathing the life-giving oxygen

of unconditional acceptance and understanding

sitting to their left and to their right

trembling voices finally speaking

what their heart has always known

no longer bearing alone

the unspoken shames

of their true selves

as I felt the unbearable exhausting enveloping weight

crushing and crumbling their sweet souls

begin to lift for the very first time

in their long longing lives

my tears began to seep

from that hurt-flooded place

deep in my heart

as I realized

that I was hearing the

collective shared family stories

of my newfound brothers

because I was no longer

an only child

no matter where I travel

in my hopefully remaining long, long life

I will always have

my family of brothers that love me


even if our DNA says otherwise

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