By Gena Oppenheim (Writer)
Last week I went to pick up “Sara” for a museum date. Upon arriving at her house, her dad ushered me in and pointed to a giant refrigerator box in the center of the room and yelled, “Hi Gena…I’m not sure where Sara is, I think she’s still asleep.” Giggling leaked though the cardboard.
After a few moments of me pretending to search for her, Sara burst out of the box, threw her arms up i n the air and exclaimed “I’m gay.” She then gave me a sticky kiss and ran to the kitchen. Her father sighed and told me they had watched an episode of “Glee” the other night where a character had “come out.” A family discussion revealed that although Sara understood what it meant to be gay, the term “coming out of the closet” still proved befuddling.
That afternoon at the museum Sara and I enjoyed the planetarium, dinosaurs and the looks on tourists faces when she jumped out of a defunct phone booth and shouted “I’m gay.”
While enjoying Shake Shack as the cherry on our Sunday, Sara asked me if I knew what “coming out meant." Instead of answering I smiled and asked her what she thought it meant. She took a moment and then said, “I think it's like when someone finally finds you in hide and seek and you smile cause you can stop holding your breath.”
GENA OPPENHEIM Gena is a fourth generation New Yorker who teaches second-grade. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received her MFA from NYU Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. http://twitter.com/#!/genabeans