I know I said I was going to write, and then I didn’t. Well surprise, surprise! I am sorry for that, transitioning to a new job really threw off my writing schedule. It’s hard to write a really inspiring post (jokes) when you work all day, and then come home tired. Doesn’t really help the bit of writer’s block I have been going through.
I did think this was an important topic to write on, and that is what made me decide to put my digital pen to paper and get going today. Coming out is something I feel like I talk about frequently, and I figured maybe writing some of those things out might help others struggling to do so!
A couple things before I jump on my soapbox here. First, I am not licensed to give advice in any way. I am not a therapist, nor any kind of counselor. I am simply someone who came out, and learned a ton in the process. Take this advice as you like, and as always I’ll try and keep it semi humorous!
Another point is that this is not my coming out story; it’s more about some things I have learned in the process. If I get a lot of feedback to post my personal story I will, but it’s definitely something personal that I don’t want to just put out there.
I think the most important thing I learned when I came out was that I felt this pressure to come out to everyone. It was kind of like once I had come out in my own head, there was this sense of obligation. Over the years, I have realized this was definitely something in my own head. You are not obligated in any way to come out to anyone that you don’t want to. I think many people feel like they’re required to do this mass coming out, and you’re not! The way I think about it is that a straight person wouldn’t introduce themselves and say “Hi, I’m so and so, and I’m straight”. That’s pretty dumb right? I agree. Coming out is an extremely personal decision and you should never feel pressured to tell anyone you’re not comfortable telling!
Another thing that I’ve always been told is that coming out means sitting down with someone and nervously telling them you’re gay. This is another huge misconception in my book! Honestly, I don’t really “come” out to people. but when they ask who I’m dating will simply tell them my girlfriend’s (wait, now fiance? more to come on that) name. Coming out to anyone can be as big or as small as you’d like it to be. I consider my sexuality to be really a small part of me, so I don’t feel the need to have to formally come out. After all, I’m a Libra, I’m short, I have green eyes, I love wine, and I’m gay. It’s just not that big of a deal to me.
When I first came out, I remember people asking so many questions, and I remembered feeling really put off by this. It took a while, but I realized that they were only asking these questions because they wanted to understand better. Often, it really can feel like you’re being attacked, but I think that ultimately those asking the questions simply want to understand. The people that are there to support you will have questions. I think this was my biggest misconception with coming out, that I would just come out and everyone would just shrug it off like it’s nothing. And for some people this may be the case. But it wasn’t for me, and I have answered a ton of questions since my own coming out.
It’s also completely okay to not know the answers to these questions. My mother asked me when I came out who walked down the aisle at a lesbian wedding….honestly, I still don’t know the answer to that one. It’s okay to say “I don’t know!”. In the end, it’s entirely up to you as to what you’re comfortable and uncomfortable talking about.
Well, that’s all I have for now, but I’m sure I will always have more thoughts on this topic. I’d love to know what your experiences with coming out have been! As always feel free to drop a line so that I don’t feel like I’m completely talking to myself here in Internet land 🙂
I probably am.
Big news aka I’m engaged! All the details to come campers!