Since everyone knows about my situation and the coming-out period has ended, I’m removing the old “Who Knows” page from its prominent display at the top of the blog. It still exists, of course, still stuck in that mid-April 2008 stage, when I was almost finished coming out, if you want to look at it for old time’s sake.

The process of keeping track of who I had told was very helpful in the beginning (January-February 2008); the list served as a visual reminder of what I was up to and how much progress I was making. I would also like to think that it helped those of you in the loop to get a big-picture view of the coming-out agenda.

But starting in March, and accelerating by the time I went to the conference in New Orleans, it became awfully difficult to keep the list current. Also some time in March, the inevitable leaks began (or at least I became aware of them), so that the list functioned more like a diary of “the list of people Mary Jo and I have come out to” instead of an objective list of everyone in the world who knew.

If we make a chart and we plot time on one axis and the total number of people who know at any given week, we get a chart that looks like this (which ran through March):

I quit trying to illustrate the slippery slope in March because the slope became a near-vertical cliff, culminating in an April 18th email to all colleagues, friends, administrators, and students, quadrupling the number of people I had told in a few days. At the bottom of that cliff, in the weeks between that weekend and the 6 weeks that followed, the slope smooths out because there isn’t anyone else to tell. My sister, Liz, could tell a different story, no doubt, as she has been talking to family friends in our hometown of Empire Falls, so there is probably another lower slope that occurs in early May, due entirely to her brave, interesting, and largely-positive coming-out experiences.