Coming Out

I still remember what it was like when I came out in 1996 at age 20. Prior to coming out to my then best friend and his partner, my brother, then mom, dad, and my other friends and coworkers, my mom had actually asked me if I was gay. When she did, I immediately said “no, of course not – why?” But, I knew why. I was visiting my hometown with a friend of mine who had personality traits that made people assume he was gay – and he was. Mom put two and two together and assumed we were dating (ok, we sorta were). I always have wondered why my gut response was saying no when it was an opportune time to bust out of the closet, but I wasn’t ready. I needed to do it when I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared – not in response to someone’s question. I needed to feel safe, inside.

As I meet other members of the LGBTQIA+ community and hear about their coming out stories, safety is a common thread – even 26 years after I came out. Regardless of how opinions and judgements about sexual orientation is changing in a positive direction in some places, it’s far from happening at the same pace in all. It may be 2022 but living life at least partly if not fully in the closet and constantly assessing safety both internal and external is the way of life for many in the LGBTQIA+ space. The vigilance for safety and our recurring inability to be authentic is exhausting in all possible ways.

Coming out is also more than just about sexual orientation. It happens with persons in expressing their gender identity or gender presentation. Folx who don’t live a traditionally monogamous lifestyle also face the challenge – whether they are open, poly, or in some other type of relationship dynamic. The closet doors impact so many and coming out is an ongoing process for LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters.

If you’re navigating coming out, being authentically yourself, and need someone supportive to accompany your journey, please reach out. It would be an honor to help you discovery safety and authenticity so you can celebrate who you were made to be.

Yep, that’s me. It was taken shortly after I came out, back in the 90’s, with a complete stranger dressed in a much more fantastic and creative costume than me. I just had to get a picture with them. I wish I knew who this person was. What you can’t see is a half full coffee pot below the clove cigarette, with ashes floating in it, SAS waitress/nurses shoes, and half rolled down panty hose to the knees. Fabulous! Now, every time I look at this I just crave a waffle, eggs, and hashbrowns smothered, peppered, and covered – with an A-E-D on the side.

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