Happy National Coming Out Day! Last year I shared my story of coming out. It was a hard one to live through, though I acknowledge that in the grand spectrum of the way parental reactions go to news that their only child is queer, I had is fairly easy. I simply went back into the closet after saying I was bisexual and nothing further was ever mentioned until I, of my own volition years later, moved out on my own. And even then it wasn’t talked about. Still isn’t to this day, though I no longer try to hide anything of who I am–queer or Pagan.
However, I want to talk today about why days like this can be a little…touchy. Not to me, but in general.
If you can come out, that’s great. I encourage you to do it if you feel safe to, and if you need an ear while you’re going through or advice on how to, my inbox is always open.
However, not everyone is safe to. There are people–kids (yes, it’s possible to know you aren’t straight when you’re still in single digit ages), teenagers, and even adults–who don’t feel safe enough to come out. They fear the loss of their homes and loved ones, even their jobs in some portions of the country.
To all of those people who must remain closeted: you are not forgotten. I see you. You are still a part of our community, even if you cannot be visible. We love you and you are not alone.
You see, the problem with days like today are that not only do they make people who can’t come out feel even more invisible (even in their own community), but it gives off the false idea that coming out is a one time thing. That isn’t even remotely true. Every day of a queer person’s life is Coming Out Day. Are you a girl who wants to hold your girlfriend’s hand at dinner? Guess you’re coming out to the whole restaurant. Are you a guy who wants to kiss his husband goodbye before he leaves on a flight? Time to come out to the entire airport.
I don’t begrudge anyone celebrating the fact that they have come out. Not even a little. I just also don’t want those who can’t to not feel like they don’t belong. They do, just as much as any of the rest of us.
Thought I would offer some food for thought on this National Coming Out Day.
(Out or closeted, if you ever need a safe space to talk or vent or even just to cry, my inbox is always open. firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t hesitate to email anytime~)