When you lose your job there’s a lot of things that can go through your head.
How am I going to pay my bills?
What’s going to happen to my health insurance?
Where am I going to work next?
I was thinking all of these things and more when my boss let me go a few days ago. There was no malice behind it, just internal company restructuring that left me on the short end of the stick.
However as drama-less as my discharge was, it has still considerably screwed up my life. I got student loans that won’t pay back themselves, outstanding medical bills and paper-thin savings. Not to mention the fact that I actually enjoyed my work and finding another job like it is going to be a tall, if not insurmountable, order.
But on top of all that, getting shitcanned is a massive setback to escaping the closet. My original plan was to chug away at my student loans and other bills until they were paid off. With more of my paycheck freed up, I could afford to move into the city. And once I no longer resided in my conservative Catholic parents’ basement, I could come out of the closet with considerably less trouble.Unfortunately, my recent joblessness has caused that plan to come to a standstill.
I realize that living in a big city is not a prerequisite to coming out of the closet and lots of gay couples live happily in suburbs and small towns across the country. But all the same it would make things easier.
Big urban centers like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco have large LGBTQ communities that make it practically effortless to jump into the lifestyle. Chi-town has scores of gay bars, gyms, clubs and everything else a queer guy could ask for.
The suburbs on the contrary, have far slimmer pickings and loneliness sets in fast.
Finding a job complicates matters. Do I try to find a job in Chicago so I can live there eventually? Or do I go wherever the work takes me? In all likelihood, the later is probably the avenue I’ll end up going down for pragmatism’s sake. Though it is a less-than desirable outcome.
However, things could be worse. The job market isn’t terrible and, thanks to the aforementioned basement, I don’t have to worry about coming up with rent money each month. And unemployment will take care of my expenses for the time being.
All the same, this obstacle is a serious blow to my best-laid plan to escape the closet. A job isn’t just a way to provide for yourself, it can also be a ticket to a better life and a brighter future. A real chance at having something decent.
Now that my ticket is gone, I feel stuck. And it’ll be hard to go anywhere for quite some time.