"I didn't come out," says comedian David Morgan on this week's episode of The Sewers of Paris. "I confirmed rumors."
British listeners will know David from the show Safeword, where a panel of comedians takes over the social media of a celebrity to tweet embarrassing or revealing messages.
It's probably not a coincidence that David thrives in an environment where everyone's expected to expose their deepest vulnerabilties. "I'm very good at picking up on somebody's insecurity and then weaponizing that," he says. "I think I have that because when I was little I was constantly trying to mask mine. You become so heightened at how you are presenting yourself to people that you start being able to read what people are presenting to you."
As a kid, it wasn't much of a secret that he was gay, even if he hadn't yet mustered up the courage to tell anyone. Somehow, his classmates all just seemed to know.
Still, the fear of coming out weighed on him. That's probably why, when I asked him what entertainment changed his life, the first thing he thought of was Dawson's Creek and the character Jack. When Jack comes out to his dad, he's despondent -- but his father comforts him. "I didn't ask for a gay son," says the dad, "but boy am I glad I got one."
David had similar support waiting for him when he came out to his parents. On this week's episode, he tells the story of an incident at school that involved some bullying (a bunch of boys harassed him for dancing). The headmaster's response was to out David to his parents, and then call them in for a meeting where he suggested that David resign as a student body leader.
"If you do that," his mother cooly responded, "if you say that my son must step down, what I will do is phone every newspaper and television outlet that exists in the UK and get them on your front lawn because you're a homophobe."
David was allowed to keep his post -- though his mother didn't tell him what transpired in the meeting until years later. In fact, without telling him, she'd spent weeks calling support groups and reading up on parenting gay children, so that she could be prepared in case he had any questions.
Over time, David's grown more comfortable being out. When his standup career started, he would never reveal his homosexuality to audiences.
"When I started, I didn't talk about being gay onstage at all," he says. And then: "a few months in, I let slip that I had a boyfriend onstage and the audience audibly went 'ohhhh,' as if that's what I'd been hiding from them. Like, 'that's what it is, we get him now.'"
He added, "Before then I'd just been lying to them, and I realized that I'd been locking off a whole lot of my life that I could talk about it onstage. Now I talk about it a lot."
In fact, we talk about it so much on the podcast this week that he eventually reveals his wedding plans, and the ongoing the dispute with his boyfriend over how to get married. And then he jokingly proposes to me. (At least I think it was a joke. I'm not sure. Listen and let me know if I just crushed his heart.)
Some things we talked about on this episodes: