A few years ago, my friend K. came out to me. Fidgeting with this cellphone, he told me that he was gay.
It was hardly a surprise but I realized at that moment, just how far he had come.
He was always a little awkward in high school. He was the colour-blind, ginger in the remedial classes who never dated anyone. When he won a handful of awards and scholarships at convocation, he passed it off as a fluke.
But it wasn’t a fluke because K. worked hard and he knew his strengths. He began his career before any of us ever knew what that even meant. He made connections, built professional networks and negotiated contracts while we were still freaking out about grades.
He was also there for me. He taught me how to bake chicken. He watched TV marathons with me when my ex-boyfriend left. He taught me how to save enough money to move out.
And when he came out, he told me that he wasn’t into one night stands. Because if he wanted to sleep with people he didn’t love, he wouldn’t have gone through the major difficulties of coming out. He told the world that he was gay — told himself that he is gay — so he could fall in love.
And just like that, K. reminded me that nothing is ever a fluke.
Last month, K. told me that he was starting The Gay Ball Society, a Toronto-based dodge ball league. Despite its name, anyone can join. Its roots are in the gay community but K. believes that the end of homophobia means everyone gets to play with balls together.
The Gay Ball Society meets every Monday from 6:30 to 8:30 at Church Street Public School. Games start on November 5, 2012 and are free for the entire month.
Hope to see you there.
Photo credit: neonbubble.posterous.com