…come out, come out wherever you are…
Today is National Coming Out Day. I’m pretty out and open about my gender identity and my orientation, so it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I am a bisexual, polyamorous woman.
I have been fortunate enough to never have to live in any real fear of saying that. Sure, there are people in my life that don’t necessarily like it, but none of them are people that would hurt me.
That isn’t true for everyone.
Puberty is a frightening time for anyone, but when puberty brings with it desires that you have been taught all your life are wrong, are sin, when you are surrounded by people who scream that god hates fags and who cheer at preachers who say that gay people should be rounded up and put behind fences and dropped food, when the kids around you still use the word gay as though it’s the worst insult that can be leveled at a boy, that fear can become debilitating.
Sexual orientation is not something we choose. I mean, think about it. What kid living in the scenario I just described is going to choose to be ostracized, threatened, beaten, etc? No. It isn’t about choosing. It’s about being true to yourself. It’s about letting yourself fall in love. It’s about embracing the amazing, diverse, wonderful life we live and finding someone to share it with.
Today, as LGBT people stand up and come out, remember that there are those who can not, for fear of their lives. Remember that there are scared and hurting kids who need an advocate, who need to know that there are people who will accept them…no, that isn’t right. Don’t accept them. Love them. They need to know that there are people in this world who will love them just as they are, that will hold them when they need someone to hold them…that will stand beside them when they need support.
If you agree, whether or not you happen to be LGBT yourself, take a stand, come out of the closet and raise your voice. Be seen. Make yourself available. Make a difference. Make a safe place for people to be themselves, to come out.
If you are someone struggling with your orientation, with coming out, if you fear for your safety or have been bullied, please know that it isn’t always going to hurt so much, that there are people who can help you. Find an ally, someone you can count on, someone you can talk to, someone you can be open and honest with.
The decision to come out belongs to you and you alone. I’ll be right here, holding space for you. The light’s on. Come on home.