Coming out seems to be the theme for the week.
This weekend at least two people I consider my family came out to their families. In one case, it went as well as could be expected, the other one was, I think, more difficult and had a less comfortable outcome, at least so far.
Coming out is really about how much of our real faces we show to the people around us. It’s about trusting people with the knowledge of who we really are, the authentic person living inside the skin.
Coming out is scary, because there’s always fear of repercussions. If they see our real faces, perhaps they’ll turn away rather than look at them.
And they might. Most of us know people whose coming out did not go well, disowned at worst and distanced at best from those they told who they were.
I’ve been lucky. I’ve come out to a lot of people, honestly because it’s so much easier. It’s tiring to always alter the truth at least a bit to seem “normal.” I usually know my audiences well enough to expect the coming out will have no negative effects on our relationship before I do it, but even in the case of my being outed a couple years back by someone leaving photocopies of an article I had written along with my photo in the front door of every house on my street, I was lucky. My neighbors who contacted me did so to offer support, and I had not one negative consequence.
I was lucky, both in the reaction, and in the fact that I know now that most of the people who live on this street which I have lived nearly all of the last 26 years actually do know who I am and what I am and they didn’t burn me at the stake.
Though I expect they probably would really turn out if I had a yard sale…
I had a question lately about coming out, and that along with the rest brought this up – I’ll be revisiting it over the next days, I suspect. I expect you’ll be hearing from me more regularly now, too.
If you’re in Louisville, think about coming out to Bluegrass Leather Pride the first weekend in March.