National Coming Out Day
Today is being called “National Coming Out Day”…a day for those who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or straight and supportive of equality, to come out of our figurative and/or literal closets and make our voices known.
My own story of coming into an acceptance of homosexuality, and really, the entire spectrum of sexuality, isn’t like so many others. I didn’t “know I was gay” from an early age. In fact, I had no concept of what “gay” was for most of my young life.
Instead, I kind of just thought people were people. Gender didn’t matter to me, much as color, religion, social status, etc didn’t really matter to me.
Of course, as I got older and became religious, which incidentally happened as I was approaching puberty and began to recognize emotional attachment and attraction, I learned that some of those things did matter and that I was not to associate with people who were not the “right” religion and that homosexuality was a sin.
I liked guys, so this didn’t seem to be a problem for me. I dated guys and Christian guys at that. Ones who believed the way I did. So much so that when my boyfriend moved away and I wanted to go visit, there was no question that it would be okay to stay at his house, because everyone knew nothing would happen between us.
Of course, I didn’t knowingly know any homosexuals at the time. There was rumored to be a few in my small senior class of high school, but it was high school…I never really knew if it was the truth.
I don’t have a defining moment when I realized that I found women attractive as well as men. I remember at some point thinking about a friend that I loved, really loved, and thinking “if she was a man I would kiss her”…and then contemplating why I couldn’t just kiss her anyway.
I can remember the first woman I actually did kiss. It was sweet and delicious and amazing…and even though I was years out of my belief that homosexuality was wrong, I waited breathlessly for the lightning to strike…and when it didn’t, I kissed her again.
I consider myself bi-sexual generally. Physically, I am more instantly attracted to men for the most part, though I have been known to have my head turned by a pretty woman too. Emotionally, I am more likely to be attracted to a woman however, though the right man could fit there too.
Either way, there’s a few things I like in either gender: intelligence, humor, strength, honor…and an ability to understand that sometimes I just want to be alone.
I’m sure that there will be those who read this that I’ve never come out and said “I’m bi-sexual” to. So…Hi, it’s national coming out day, and I’m bi.
Wherever you are, whoever you are, I hope that you can feel safe enough and loved enough to be who you are too. Without reservation, without hiding, without fear of rejection or worse.
If you are struggling with your identity, with your sexuality…if you are afraid, ashamed, feeling alone…know that you are a part of the human family, you are beautiful and valid and real…and you are not alone.
Never forget that.