Today is National Coming Out Day in America, and what a sunny day it is in our native Massachusetts. Of course, if you are planning on coming out as LGBTQ, our thoughts are with you. That said, you can also be a vanilla heterosexual and totally come out. How? By telling people who you are. Pure and simple. Sure, the risks are different depending on how you identify, where you are, who you’re coming out to, and what sort of community you live in, and I don’t wish to diminish how frightening “coming out” can be, especially for those who feel excluded, invisible, or at risk of violence. But we can all come out about all sorts of things, when we want, how we want, and if we want. Plus there is plenty of great support around. (See below for some suggestions).
I’ll add that it is totally understandable that many people do not come out, especially considering the social barriers and threats. We watched a documentary, “Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride,” about Pride in other countries, and it is devastating what fellow queers risk by turning up to march in countries like Russia and Poland. For example, a few years ago, I went to Boston Pride alone in a French Maid’s outfit in order to proclaim my identity as kinky. However, I was scoffed at by fellow queers on the march. That’s how complex “coming out” can be.
But if you have come out, or are coming out, bravo! We salute you. And however you identify, or whether you’re “in,” “out” or “inbetween,” do take a look at Kate Bornstein‘s wonderful ‘It Gets Better’ video below. It’s a true comfort. A beauty.
*Check out the It Gets Better Project, for their great support and inspiration. And if you’re local, you can also check out these support groups and associations: the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, BAGLY and PFLAG. And if you ever feel left out and/or suicidal, or also take a gander at Kate Bornstein’s book, Hello, Cruel World.