It’s Coming Out Day! Here’s a link to some more things I’ve written about Coming Out.
I could never have anticipated how much coming out would be a lifelong process. I think that before I came out, I thought there would be a clear “before and after”. I had waited so long since realizing that I wasn’t straight that the buildup to The Event had taken on its own power. I was sooo ready for that weight to come off that I hadn’t considered the actual process.
The day that I first came out, I only told someone at the Pride Centre at my university at the time (now my good friend), and my sister. Actually… I couldn’t bring myself to tell my sister so I made her guess! I’m the worst hahaha. So I had done it. I’d “come out” but… I was still in the closet! Now I had to tell pretty much every single other person in my life! How had I thought things would get easier!?!?
Every time I told someone that year, it was hard. I wasn’t really used to having deep, personal conversations about myself, and this particular one was so full of emotion. Actually SAYING the words was hard. But each time it got *just* a bit easier. Each time I had a few more people behind me, and whether or not those people were on my team (and lucky for me, they were more or less on my team), I had opened up to them. They knew me a little more wholly, and consequently my identity became a little more whole.
Now, I consider myself “out”, but that doesn’t mean I get to stop COMING out. Yes, any person who sees my instagram or facebook page gets IN YOUR FACE access to how super gay I am. But with dentists, hairdressers, friends of (non queer) friends, grocery store employees, and sometimes at work – a complicated siderbar too long for this post – it’s a constant decision, or revelation, or – I suspect – I am presumed straight unless I say otherwise.
This is just life. It’s not necessarily BAD to have to constantly come out – it can be fun and empowering! It’s not GOOD either; it’s just how it IS, and it’s wonderful and terrible and powerful and complicated and special.
Coming out certainly isn’t something you can cross of your To Do list, but every time you do it, it brings an opportunity to feel a little more whole and light. Not everyone may be supportive, but you will get to build your own big, queer family. Whether it’s in your community or online, there are people who are here for you.
If you’re not able to come out right now, that’s VALID. Someday, you will be, but your personal safety is paramount. If you need to talk to someone, I’m here for you.
Happy Coming Out day to all you queers, in or out of the closet!