“The Closet is a Stuffy Place Filled With Fears”

In a post n Facebook, Yarin Azulay, a 19-year-old Israeli, reflects on his coming out letter and its consequences. “Two years ago I was reborn and I don’t regret a single moment,” he writes. “If you’re in a similar situation, don’t be afraid to be who and what you are.”

“I’m sorry that I hid it until today. I was silent and I didn’t tell you because I was waiting for the right moment. And today, I’m almost 17, and the time has come for you to know.”

I’m gay; it was written without any color in my hair or any other sign I can be recognized with today. Two years have passed since I wrote that letter that completely changed my life. Last year I briefly recounted my coming out process and mentioned mainly how much it had changed me, and a prominent question was “where was your father in the story?”

At an early age my parents divorced. I live with my mother.
When I came out to my mother, I was struck by innumerable thoughts of “So what about the other side of the family?” After a week of thinking, I decided not to tell my father. I will never forget the terrible sense of fear that held me when I was thinking about coming out to him. This subject has never been discussed in our family circle. Looking back, my biggest mistake, though, was dragging it on for so long, but I feared that his reaction would be negative.

A few months passed. I was in a relationship, a blonde stripe in my hair and a Pandora bracelet, and still in the closet to my father and still dragging it on.

How brave or stupid could I be to upload a picture to Instagram where I kiss my partner and hope that it will not reach my father? The answer is: very. Still, with the privacy that was defined at the time on my Instagram account, the picture got to him too, and that’s how I came out of the closet.

“Yarin, your father called and said they sent him a picture of you kissing a boy. He’s angry.” I don’t remember the date, but I will never forget how I woke up that morning. “Well, now I won’t have to hide anymore,” I replied, half asleep.

I got up, washed my face, realized I had made a mistake.
My mother told me that he called in anger – saying he lost contact with his family over fear and a lot of feelings that arose at that stage.

Half a year of fear has passed. I almost didn’t leave the house in order to not encounter him accidentally. I missed family events, including my little brother’s Bar Mitzvah, and after many thoughts I realized that something should be moved there. I went to his house, shaking with fear, and we just talked. We cried, we opened up this subject from scratch, and in fact it was my first conversation with him about this subject and with everything that went on for so long. We had to reopen and rebuild. I came home with the feeling that with all the anger and emotions that had accumulated, if I’m really important to him, he would never hurt me.

Today, after two years, I don’t regret anything I went through. Thanks to these fractures I became stronger and got the strength to help others, whether through a year of service with IGY or in general. Since that talk with my father, the situation has improved, although it took time, but today I can say that my relationship with him exists and it’s good. And I can say that anyone can do it.

To all those people who are in this or a similar situation, don’t be afraid to be who and what you are. The closet is a stuffy place filled with fears and feelings that the more we try to repress and deny the more they hurt. Believe in yourself and know that inside you hide a tremendous power, so use it. And if you are the parents of boys and girls inside or outside the closet – find an understanding, consult, open conversations on the subject and show openness. Love is all you need.

Two years ago I was reborn and I don’t regret a single moment. I thank all those who are with me in this, for those who strengthened and showed support at every opportunity.