Part 1: June 5, 2006 I awoke this morning with a queasy, uneasy feeling after a wonderful weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. More then ever before I had such a hard time leaving this magical place where my orientation mattered as much as my bald head. I had been chatting with two good friends on BMB and they had unknowingly helped me realize and muster the strength to do what I knew needed to be done. So, I picked up the phone and called my Mom (as we don't see each other much having been estranged from for many years and we had recently begun to try to reconnect) and tried to get to the point--I told her I was feeling sad and overwhelmed (crying by this point) and she told me to remember that we had made a pact when I was younger that I could tell her anything. And so after more crying and hesitation and assurances that I was not dying, I told her I was gay. Her response: "Okay! Is that all? Baby, my love for you is unconditional and everlasting. Now, if anything, I know that I will have to love you more since the world will forsake you and treat you even more differently that is already does." We chatted some more in between my bawling and (tenuous) laughing. She told me (in response to my saying how hard it is/has been) that I "should just be myself and be a good person because that is all she ever wanted of me--what's so hard about that?" WOW. So hard and yet so easy. I am also hopeful that this will be the beginning of something new and deeper for my mother and I. I have talked to her 4-5 times since then (I couldn't tell you the last time that was the case). She said it was so good to "hear you smile" through the phone. There were always "little signs" she said. I feel not a bit unlike a adopted child that is (re)learning his history from the first time, this time from the outside on. Amazing. It was emotionally charged, bizarre and surreal all at once. I had been dreading this day for a long time now and I am both relieved and renewed with anxiety all at once. That it went so well with her both surprised and soothed me. The emotions are still very raw with me and the world seems just a little bit different today and my shoulders feel just a little bit lighter. I hope it goes half as well with my dad and step-mom. Fingers crossed. Mrs. Lex My wife is the most amazing person you have never met. Hands down. Were it not for her insight, acceptance and love I would have probably left this place a long time ago. She is my partner, my compliment, my binary star. As these issues have emerged she has both challenged me to and supported while I faced them. Actually, WE have faced them together. On the subject of coming out (since it affects her too), she is extremely supportive and behind me all the way. God love her. She told me the most amazing thing (as we have spoken about my emerging understanding of myself). She said: "You were a caterpillar. And carterpillars crawl on the ground and eat leaves. And now you've gone into your cocoon and are emerging as a butterfly. The essence of you is the same, and it's taken a different form. And butterflies don't eat leaves--the drink from flowers. So now, it is no surprise that you now like flowers more than leaves." So, she is determined to walk this path with me in life and for that I am grateful. She's a keeper in every sense of the word. To all those here who support me without knowing it: Thank you. This place has been a Godsend me for in a variety of ways. I put this here not to show off or tell anyone what to do. I think each of us will know when the time is right for you. I hope that someone somewhere is helped by my story (as always).