I have been talking to Nick for a while about coming out (of the gay closet), and although I find the idea terrifying, I am moving forward, albeit slowly. I have decided to do so gradually. I came up with this timetable:
(1) I have told my therapist. It still feels very weird, and I am still very uncomfortable talking about it with her. But it is done, and probably (I hope) for the best.
(2) I am going to be out this summer. I will be working in a completely new city, and I think it will just be easier to be open from the beginning. This will allow me to test the waters, so to speak. I have already contacted some of the gay attorneys at my firm to get their perspectives on what it's like to be out at my firm. So far I have heard that it is basically treated as a non-issue. I find that very encouraging.
(4) If all goes well this summer, I plan to come out here at law school. I imagine that most of my friends here will be supportive, which will allow me to grow comfortable with being an out gay man.
(5) Then I come to my first point of no return, telling my closest college friends. Somehow, telling my law school friends seems less permanent, largely because I haven't known them as long. Also I was much deeper in my closet in college, whereas I think most people here already suspect.
(6) Then comes the big one, telling my parents. Honestly, this will be the greatest challenge of the whole process. I truly hate to disappoint them, and I know they will be very disappointed, especially initially. I know that eventually they will come to accept it, but it won't be easy for them or for me. I talked to Nick about when he came out to his parents and he said that things were rocky for about a year. Although now, his parents have come to accept him. In fact, I have set up a meeting with Nick's mom when she comes to town next week. We are going to discuss her emotions when Nick came out, what sorts of things to suspect, and basically get advice for this very critical moment in my life and the life of my parents. This step may take a year or two to reach, if I ever reach it.
That's my plan. I hope I can find the strength to execute it.