‘In the MS closet’
As a 30-year old male, I only ever thought I’d have to ‘come out’ the one time. After my teen years were dominated by feelings of fear and worry at the reactions and judgments I may receive by being honest with my sexuality, I came out in my early twenties, with much more acceptance than I had first expected.
After a 2013 MS diagnosis, I am back in the closet to some extent. While I am happily partnered, and out and proud with my sexuality, I must now consider another coming out journey… with my MS.
The fact I wish to remain an anonymous blogger, tells the short version of my decision to stay in the MS closet. Only a handful of close friends, and, of course, my partner, are aware of my diagnosis. Luckily for me, at this stage, my symptoms are invisible and my mobility is unaffected so it’s been quite manageable so far.
My decision to stay ‘in the closet’ has been met by some disapproval from only a few friends, which has been an interesting way for me to reassess my circle of friends. After much discussion with friends, my partner, my neurologist, and my psychologist, I’m comfortable with my decision, but I do acknowledge the discomfort that I sometimes feel when I need to think on my feet with cover stories and fatigue excuses. More on that later!
I smile to myself every so often, as these stories and excuses remind me of my days in that other closet; when I was going clubbing, exploring the scene, and attending support groups. While now my creative excuses are for the sake of going to specialist appointments, exploring bladder control workshops, and attending support groups, I do have my reasons. I'm looking forward to sharing these reasons, fears, and hopes with a wider audience through blogging, which I see as an opportunity that will benefit not only to me, but also to those who feel they are a minority within a minority of the MS Community.