I've heard that you'll know when the right time to come out to someone is. That if you want to, plan to, but fail to, you just weren't ready yet. The other night, I was chatting with my friends from an on-line forum, including Kim (whose view on homosexuality I talked about here).
Kim's been doing some on-line dating, and she's pretty good at converting a chat into a date. I've also been trying to meet people -- even just friends would be nice. So I was getting advice about this girl I was trying to chat up -- being very careful to leave out pronouns, or just say "someone." But as Kim asked me more questions, one of my responses used "her." I started to reword it, but after erasing it once, I rewrote it and sent. I just felt "to heck with this, why am I trying so hard to hide the truth?"
Kim replied, "By 'her' I hope you mean 'his'?" I replied, "Um, no." And she said, "Oh, didn't realize that." It got quiet for a bit, so I said, "Heh, I killed chat," but she reassured me that she was "just deciding how that changed things" (regarding the advice she was giving me).
The other two Christians were also in chat at the time. Jen (who already knew that I wasn't straight) shared a video that she'd been watching -- I'm not even sure she realized what I'd posted since she hadn't been participating in the conversation for a while. On the other hand, Beth had been taking part, but quickly posted that she'd been on Facebook, and then that she had to go for a while. As is common in chat, the conversation quickly changed directions after that, so I have no idea what Beth thinks about it.
Kim did private-message me, though, asking if I was bi or if she was misunderstanding things. I said, "Yeah, but leaning more towards women, actually; it's something I'm just starting to explore." Kim replied, "Pshaw, you were holding out on me!" so I explained a little about what I'd been through, and apologized for misleading her, saying "I didn't know how to bring it up when you assumed it was a guy."
She said, "It's all good, just caught me by surprise," and then she gave me some advice on the on-line dating thing (which totally didn't pan out because I'd already ruined it by putting myself in the "friend zone," as Kim called it, but next time I'll be able to avoid that thanks to her advice).
It feels good not to have to censor myself in chat anymore, and to know that even though Kim may not agree with my "choices" regarding who I'm dating, she'll still be supportive and give me advice. After our last conversation about sexuality, I had been a bit nervous, but I'm so glad I took the risk to come out.