Is there an ideal age to come out? I have a friend who watched her middle school son come out to his school a few years ago. In 1989, a classmate of mine waited until he left for college. I know adults who are still not out for one reason or another. Stonewall polled people and found younger people are coming out much earlier than their older counterparts did. There is no right answer, but there are certainly circumstances that make it harder for people.
Pretend you’re a bisexual man, and even at the age of thirty-five, no one knows this except for the boyfriend you dated in high school. Everyone thinks you’re straight. After all, you dated only women—as far as they know—married a wonderful one, had kids with her, and on the outside, everything seemed picture-perfect until you asked for a divorce. You ended up separating for the same reasons as many couples around, because after you had kids, you and your wife slowly fell out of love. So why would anyone think you were anything but straight?
Nothing drastic needs to change in your life just because you’re bisexual. Unless you fall in love with a man, the same man who stole your heart when you were a teen. He’s the one person you’ve never been able to get out of your head either.
Spark, book one in my North Star Trilogy, is about second chances at love with that special someone who got away. Kevin Magnus kept his bisexuality such a close secret because his father never would’ve approved of having a son who was in any way different. When Kevin left home for college, he dated women, and eventually Erin, the woman who would become his wife.
Now that Kevin has reconnected with Hugo Thorson, Kevin has a very new reality to face. How does he come out? And he will eventually have to come out, he realizes, especially after he sees how out Hugo is. There’s no putting Hugo back in any closet, and Kevin would never want that either. He loves this new, freer Hugo, but Kevin is reticent.
After essentially living the life of a straight man for years, how do you come out? Kevin really has no clue how to manage it. As a father, it means more than simply declaring that he’s bisexual. He has to think about how to explain this to his children. Starting to date a man could be confusing to them. And how will Erin handle the news? He’s concerned that his newly revealed sexuality might affect his custody of the kids. Beyond that, he has to consider how friends and family will take the news.
In my personal life, I have a teensy experience that pales in comparison to this, but it made me very empathetic to this experience. Just like a lot of bisexual people, I assumed I was straight until I was faced with my very evident attraction to another woman. It was years before I said anything to anyone, and by that time, I was married and had a kid. I’m still married, but that’s not to say that my husband’s mind didn’t dance around like molded Jell-O on a hot summer’s day when I told him. It took him a while to adjust. It was just that his perception of me had changed.
There are no easy answers, Kevin quickly realizes and he knows he needs to take time to get used to the reality that living as an openly bisexual man dating a man is a completely different experience than living as a closeted one. Hugo needs to be patient with this process as well, and it is a process that takes more than one book to resolve. Spark is just the beginning of that journey.
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 28 of Spark. You can read Chapter 1 here . This is the first time Kevin is coming out to a friend, even if his mouth gets away from him.
“I’m actually dating the guy he said all that shit to.” The words just mindlessly tumbled out of Kevin’s mouth in a rush, and he gripped his hair tightly until it hurt, mentally kicking himself for allowing his panic to get ahead of his logical thinking. But it was out there now.
“Oh man! That makes it about a hundred times worse.” No judgment. Nothing bad happened.
“Tell me about it. And I can’t get a hold of Hugo.”
“Shit. I’ll let you go so you can get to him.”
“Dena?” Kevin could hear worry straining those two syllables.
“What is it, Kevin?” She sounded concerned.
“Please promise me you won’t say anything to Erin?”
“No. She doesn’t know I’m bisexual. No one does, and I’m not ready to say anything yet. I shouldn’t have said anything to you. I don’t know why I did. I’m not thinking straight.”
“Kevin, that’s your secret. If I’ve learned anything over the years from my brother, it’s that coming out has to happen when you’re ready, and it doesn’t happen all at once. Kevin?”
“I’m glad you felt comfortable enough with me to share that. I’m sure it wasn’t easy if this was the first time you’ve told anyone.”
Suddenly his quick call to make sure Mike got home was turning into a therapy session.
“I’ve known since I was sixteen. I was with Hugo in high school. He was my first boyfriend and my first.”
“And you’re back together? How romantic.”
In their small-town high school, Hugo and Kevin became closeted lovers who kept their secret even from parents. Hugo didn’t want to disappoint his terminally ill father, and Kevin’s controlling father would never tolerate a bisexual son. When college took them in different directions, they promised to reunite, but that didn’t happen for seventeen years.
By the time they meet again, Hugo has become an out-and-proud actor and director who occasionally performs in drag—a secret that has cost him in past relationships. Kevin, still closeted, has followed his father’s path and now, in the shadow of divorce, is striving to be a better father to his own children.
When Hugo and Kevin meet by chance at a party, the spark of attraction reignites, as does their genuine friendship. Rekindling a romance may mean Hugo must compromise the openness he values, but Kevin will need a patient partner as he adapts to living outside the closet. With such different lifestyles, the odds seem stacked against them, and Hugo fears that if his secret comes to light, it may drive Kevin away completely.
Posy Roberts lives in the land of 10,000 lakes (plus a few thousand more). But even with more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined, Minnesota has snow—lots of it—and the six months of winter makes us “hearty folk,” or so the locals say. The rest of the year is heat and humidity with a little bit of cool weather we call spring and autumn, which lasts about a week.
She loves a clean house, even if she can’t keep up with her daughter’s messes, and prefers foods that are enriched with meat, noodles, and cheese, or as we call it in Minnesota, hotdish. She also loves people, even though she has to spend considerable amounts of time away from them after helping to solve their interpersonal problems at her day job.
Posy is married to a wonderful man who makes sure she eats while she documents the lives of her characters. She also has a remarkable daughter who helps her come up with character names. When she’s not writing, she enjoys karaoke, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.
Read more at http://posyroberts.com