Being a twin, having someone who looks just like you, has its advantages. You can share discount cards, gym IDs, Hello Kitty fanclub memberships. You can look at clothes objectively because you have someone who can wear it for you before you buy it. It means that you can eliminate bad fashion choices, unfortunate punk haircuts or being blonde without having to live through the embarrassment yourself. Being a twin means that there is someone who can read your mind without you saying a word.
I never had to “come out” to my twin and vice-versa. Maybe I had super intuition powers. We weren’t stereotypically gay after all. We talked about girls all the time: their beautiful hair, their sassy shoes, the way that Kathleen pulled off pairing a plaid skirt with combat boots. We both liked bodybuilding, poring over bodybuilding magazines studying muscle, sinew, bulge. There were no obvious indications.
Even though we had so much alike, endured matching outfits and shared presents--we kept separate friends, separate lives. We enjoyed each other’s company, but we always did our own thing. We weren’t joined at the hip like some twins were. We shared the same bedroom until we were about 13 when I moved out into the adjoining room. I figured I needed my privacy when I masturbated. A bathroom connected our bedrooms, yet we were separated by The Closet.
A sister of my gay friend asked me why her brother was so reticent about sharing his life with her and the rest of the family. When her brother came out to them, she and her family were very accepting of him and tried hard to include him and his boyfriends in family gatherings and events. They were not ashamed of him and didn’t try to deny her brother's homosexuality. Yet, her brother didn’t open up to her, didn’t share his life with her, his daily minutiae. He was a closed book.
Crazy huh? A lifetime spent lying, repressing your true feelings, your true self to the ones closest to you can’t be undone in one simple act of coming out. I spent the first 25 years of my life not telling anyone, even my twin about my true feelings. We shared a womb, a bosom, a room—yet our sexuality, our shared struggle kept us apart. Even when we were finally out to each other, we never really talked about what we went through: the fear, the shame, the guys with slobbery kisses.
It was hard to overcome how society views us queers, but we did. I just wished I was able to go through it with my brother. Maybe it would have been easier. Maybe a little less lonely.
Thanks to Joe, Annie, Patrick, Dave & Julie for the generous Christmas gifts.
A very special thanks to Happie Bunnie for the thoughtful presents. Check out her funny site.
Mood | Thankful