Article 25

Coming Out to My Family

In Uncategorized on 10/21/2012 at 3:08 pm


A mans sits in his homeless camp near downtown Cincinnati. Margo Pierce.

I’m not what you think

By Jesse Call (


I’m a private person, even –  or maybe especially –  with my family. But I think it’s time for them to accept something about me which they choose to deny.

I guess I can’t blame them too much for denying it. My shield of privacy has kept me from professing this part of me to the world. But there’s no way they don’t know. It’s right before their eyes. With some of them, I’ve even mentioned it, but they’ve quickly dismissed it.

I’ve been involved in advocacy with this issue for quite some time, standing up for others like me who are ridiculed, bullied, judged, condemned and abused for who they are. My family attributes it to my general altruism, which makes it easier for them not to accept the truth –  that while I might be a nice guy, part of the reason I focus in this issue area is because I’m a part of it.

I’m not sure why they are denying it to themselves. Perhaps they think they’ve failed, and by publicly coming out I will expose that and embarrass them. It certainly has impacted other families that way. Maybe they fear that they will have to treat me differently. In some ways, I hope they would. Maybe they just aren’t sure what to do.

Recently, on Facebook, my brother straight-up told the world that I wasn’t, after someone on a podcast suggested that I was. (I guess being a reporter makes me a public figure now.) But I know that he knows differently. Not only because of my perceived obviousness, but because I’ve told him directly about it.

After telling him, however, we discussed whether I really was.

“Maybe technically, but not actually,” is the conclusion that he reached.

Despite disagreeing, I relented. In time, maybe he would come to understand.

I’m certainly in a better place than many others like me. In fact, some of them might not even accept that I am. I don’t fit the stereotype. I don’t look the part. I don’t endure a lot of the pain that they do because mine is not so expressed or obvious.

It really shouldn’t be anybody’s business, including my family’s. But I do think it becomes a problem when the truth is directly denied. Given the questions, I think it’s important for them to know so they can avoid misleading others, although I’d still prefer they stuck with the “it’s none of your business” line.

I think it might be time to come out to my family and tell them what they already know but can’t accept. I’ll practice here:

I’m homeless.



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