I met with D at her place of employment in an SLC suburb. As I drove there, I tried to figure out our connection. She is friends with my wife, S, and I know her through S, but I was unsure how S and D knew one another. I think D and I had only met once before, while S and I were passing through SLC on one of our long road trips. As it turns out, the story behind D and S's introduction was a cute one, but I'll keep that between D, S, and me for now.
D came out of her office, we hugged (I kind of am a hugger, but I've yet to master the art of doing it without being awkward), I mentioned that she looked a lot like Julianne Moore, and we set out to find meat. She found a barbecue place and I was thrilled, not only because I was in the mood for meat, but also because the place lets you make yourself unlimited ice cream cones. Then, as D ate her kid's meal, she told me a bit about her coming out story. D is not homosexual (well, I don't actually know that - I didn't ask), so her story wasn't of the traditional coming out variety, but it did involve a decision and revelation of that decision that I'm sure was not an easy one to make and/or reveal.
I appreciate so much that D, and others that I've met along this journey, have been willing to answer my questions, especially the ones that mattered. Asking questions and hearing responses is how I like to learn. I'm also glad that I ask the big questions in the first place.
While it's nice to talk about the weather and simply shoot the breeze, nobody has ever made me feel less alone in this enormous world by telling me of their thoughts on the latest cold spell to hit the area. In speaking out, in responding to my question, in sharing an experience that I could absolutely relate to, D actually affected me, gave me something to think about, and helped me learn a bit more about myself in this enormous world. For that, I am thankful.