October 11 was National Coming Out Day. Kind of a big deal for some. Here’s what I posted on Facebook and Google+.
Okay. Really. If you folks haven’t realized that I’m a guy that likes guys, you haven’t been paying attention. That being said, “coming out” is one of the most reality renting things I’ve ever gone through, and it’s always a work in progress. People of my generation and from similarly non-cosmopolitan areas had few if any role models, making the process more confusing, alienating and horrifying, despite being ultimately liberating and transformative. Today, with social media and a more inclusive social landscape, things are getting better, but that doesn’t mean realizing that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is any easier. Friends and families still abandon their own when realization and self acceptance blooms in a person. So to “come out of the closet” is still a pivotal experience in many people’s lives. It impacts everyone in the person’s personal sphere and rearranges how that person navigates through life. It can be painful. It can be alienating. It can be needlessly permeated with guilt, grief, and fear. Do not take it lightly; embrace it, celebrate it, treat it with respect and a sense of wonder. What you are witness to is nothing less than a self generated transformation that can elevate that person to a wonderful new place or it can lead to isolation and malignant sadness. Do not take it lightly but support it with your heart, your spirit, your love, your words and actions. National Coming Out Day – we celebrate it for a reason. Everyone can join in. Admit to yourself and then to your world a truth about yourself no matter how mundane or radical. Embrace your individuality, realize that you’re still a part of a community, and allow yourself to accept yourself and others for all that makes you, You, and You, one of Us.