National Coming Out Day: A Day to Honor Those Who Could and Inspire Those Who Couldn't

Updated on October 13, 2016
Pride - It Matters Daily
Pride - It Matters Daily | Source

It's Not Just About Coming Out To Loved Ones

Everyone's got different opinions and ideas about the process of coming out. It's one of the most significant experiences in any person's life, and one that is different for each person.

However, in order to come out to friends in family, you need to come out to yourself.

There are so many people - kids and adults alike - who struggle with self-acceptance in the wake of realizing that they love someone of the same sex, or that they identify as a gender completely opposite to one that was assigned at birth as a result of the body parts they came equipped with. In addition, coming out may come with the extremely painful realization that not everyone who loved and supported you before you came out may continue to do so.

That's a scary experience; to know - or at least suspect - that people who said they had your back and would always be there would somehow change their minds when you disclose that you are lesbian, or transgender, or asexual, or whatever the case might be for you. That can lead to people wanting to deny who they are, in reality, just to prevent a rift from people they counted on.

That rift may not happen at all; fear, though, is our biggest enemy.

We don't do so much simply because we are afraid. Now, we may not admit to even ourselves that we are uncomfortable in our own skins or that we love a member of the same sex, for instance.

People have said that coming out is not anything to deem someone as brave for. The thing is, when you're revealing something so deeply personal, there is a lot of bravery involved. It would be a lot easier if it was just a non-issue - as Depeche Mode said in 1984, simply accepting that "People Are People" - but the fact of the matter is, there are those along the LGBT spectrum that endlessly are put under the microscope and having to disclose who they are attracted to, as though that somehow mattered.

The problem is, it does matter - to too many people, groups and organizations, and it's not fair.

So yeah, there is bravery involved. Why wouldn't there be?

But first - you have to start with yourself.

It Doesn't Matter...

Painful But Potentially Wonderful All At Once

Once I realized I was bisexual, I think it almost became a non-issue for me. I'd always supported those who were gay, straight, trans or otherwise. To me, it doesn't matter, not even a little - I'm looking at the content of a person's character, not who they're involved with romantically or even what clothes they choose to wear. I'd also made the decision that if there were those whom I told that were suddenly somehow put off, that was life.

I did not have the chance to come out to either of my parents; both passed away years before I even thought about it, so there was no fear that came with that realization that I was bisexual. I was actually lucky, in so many ways, compared to some of the terrible stories I've heard over the years.

My understanding is that once you own it for yourself, it becomes easier over time to speak about it comfortably to others - people who don't know but whom you've wanted to tell. Coming out - at least for the moment because some societies are simply not as accepting as others - is still a painful but possibly wonderful experience, and those who come out and those who contemplate it should be applauded.

For those who ultimately will not embrace those who come out, it's important to realize that who the person is at their core has not fundamentally changed. They are still the same person that you've known for years, gone for coffee with or even hung out and watched movies with. While it's understandable that not everyone's mindsets will be changed simply by being told they should feel privileged that someone has decided they should come out to them - you can't win 'em all, as the pundits have said before - it's important that this same audience not diminish the moment for those who have chosen to come out.

It's a difficult decision, at times, one where people may grapple for weeks, months or even years with the decision to come out. To deem someone's coming out as something that should be dismissed as something casual or even given minor thought is to diminish coming out. Until a time has come where people can just look at each other and say, "Yeah, you're cool," without even a thought about that person's sexuality or gender identity, coming out needs to be recognized for the painful and possibly wonderful experience that it should and can be.

People Are People

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pairedlife.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pairedlife.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)