Happy [belated] National Coming Out Day!
Those of us who have had to come out know the interesting hills and valleys we navigated when expressing our sexuality back in the days before we fully embraced who we were.
Grant Ginder, author of This is How It Starts and The People We Hate at the Wedding, took to Twitter to share his embarrassing #NationalComingOutDay story, which began as most good stories do: in the '90s.
Back in the day, families usually had one computer (that worked on dial-up or something) and almost nobody had laptops. Knowing that, Ginder's story can take off.
A #NationalComingOutDay thread! When I was 13, I began collecting pictures of hot men that I found on AOL. I kept t… https://t.co/qCSz2tTsoQ— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814820.0
Since it was a family computer, "beefcake" did not go unnoticed for long.
I don't know where I learned the word, but at night when everyone was asleep and I was at the computer I used it he… https://t.co/IE1NuxVpjB— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814821.0
(The pictures were of a very specific aesthetic that if you were gay and coming of age in the 90s you would immedia… https://t.co/wZric3OErA— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814821.0
(But I digress)— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814821.0
ANYWAY. I kept up my beefcake collecting for a good six months until, one day, my dad was driving me to a friend's… https://t.co/9ArJt980hg— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814822.0
I was not happy. I was going through a very intense "Joseph..." phase and was conceiving of an adaption of it to be… https://t.co/XgW40eFFsp— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814822.0
The next question was the question every gay kid dreads to hear.
We pulled up to a stoplight (I can still remember which one) and, turning to me, he asked "Who's been downloading a… https://t.co/JfLC4K2Gwh— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814823.0
And so Grant responded in the only way he knew how—panic.
I froze. I panicked. I thought of water splashing across a set of airbrushed abs. Looking him straight in the eye… https://t.co/RMq9XEexLJ— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814823.0
READER, DR. FREUD, WHOEVER: I BLAMED MY MOTHER. FOR DOWNLOADING PICTURES OF D-LIST FABIOS, WORKING ON CARS IN THONGS.— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814823.0
"Mom?" he said. "Huh. You think I should talk to her?" Again: panic. Again: airbrushed abs. "No--she'd probably… https://t.co/oz4KPpMxln— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814823.0
Go go go Grant!
Somehow, he managed to get away with it.
Flash forward to now: I don't know if he ever talked to my mom, though I suspect if he did it was so they could hav… https://t.co/xGPKV8tDrn— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814824.0
But nonetheless, Grant felt the need to say something to his mom after all these years.
But Mom! Mea culpa! I panicked, and I'm sorry about that! A braver kid would've said "fuck it, those beefcakes are… https://t.co/X8nvHwKJHN— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814824.0
So: thank you, Mom, for taking the heat, and thank you Dad, for suppressing your smirk for long enough that I was c… https://t.co/nevJTGcxpE— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570814825.0
Twitter was rolling over this story.
Some were even relating their own embarrassing coming out stories.
@GrantGinder I love everything about this. Throwing Mom under the bus and the smirk... My story 26 years ago..." M… https://t.co/6QiLaFqlGA— Vermont Bird Place (@Vermont Bird Place) 1570840855.0
@GrantGinder I did the same but saved them on DISKETTES and hid the diskettes under a drawer in my desk— Nicholas Hurley (@Nicholas Hurley) 1570836254.0
@GrantGinder This is beautiful. May I direct therapy clients to this if they are wondering how scared their Musical… https://t.co/jf6iyekted— Petticoated🤺Swashbuckler (@Petticoated🤺Swashbuckler) 1570848502.0
@GrantGinder So, like this one? Amiright? #beefcakeonacliff https://t.co/DVzjXKGlXj— 🦋 (@🦋) 1570837599.0
@GrantGinder In the 90s? Oh honey, the patience you must have had. 😆— Silvara 🧷💜🏒🌈🐈 (@Silvara 🧷💜🏒🌈🐈) 1570835555.0
And those of us who sat through dial-up internet to get our daily dose of beefcakes in the 90s truly are with Grant.
@GrantGinder This was awesome to read!— Brian Sims (@Brian Sims) 1570895642.0
@GrantGinder What a fantastic story! I didn't come out to my family until after I'd moved out... just. My mother as… https://t.co/gK7ncdm4GG— C Ellen Hogan 🏳️🌈 (@C Ellen Hogan 🏳️🌈) 1570845559.0
@GrantGinder Love this. 😊 My favorite part was your dad saying, “Do you think I should talk to her about it?” I lov… https://t.co/SCOyf8JDNE— Karen Harrington (@Karen Harrington) 1570838256.0
@GrantGinder Love the story. Love the silent understanding your parents showed, letting you come out when you were… https://t.co/FRd0qRYwUT— MAFamatics (@MAFamatics) 1570822988.0
And to round it all off, Mom had a little something to say to end the thread:
Update: My mother just called. "There was one of a man on a motorcycle," she said. "You had excellent taste."— Grant Ginder (@Grant Ginder) 1570827975.0
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.
Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!