Today is the day we celebrate all the coming out stories. I have my own.
First time out was kinda accidental. It was in a chat room full of PoGo players. That night the group talked about the LBGT community in chat. I pulled someone aside who I had the gut feeling of trusting and asked if there were resources in town without being specific. Without me knowing, I came out to a fellow trans woman that night.
Time past and I went out on the town with her and some friends. I built up more confidence to dress up and even personally use female pronouns out in public.
I think the biggest moment was in Ann Arbor when I traveled to visit friends. I knew that WAR, DR, and GCR were great trusting communities based on all the chatter before I came. I packed my clothes and makeup and went. I was free and realized that the ingress community has my back. I felt comfortable enough to tell the world of ingress.
Scratch that. My biggest moment was going to school and realizing that there were people who supported me in school. I didn’t have to hide my private life at school. I talked to my professors and they had my back. I made sure and made a statement by walking in class presenting as the confident girl that I am. It went well and my productivity shot up. I was on top of the world.
Only one obstacle is left. My own family doesn’t know. I asked my own parents to read this blog and they haven’t yet. I even asked to talk. They haven’t gotten back to me yet. I fear for the worst honestly. However, I have faith that if they loved me up to this point. They will still love me afterward. If not, I have faith that time will heal up the self-inflicted family wounds.
It’s tough, I have to admit that much. I did, however, learn things when coming out and I want to share them with you in celebration of mine and many others’ stories.
First off come out in your own time. It took years for me to admit who I am. For others, it may take a just a few moments. You have all the time in the world to figure out who you are. No need to rush. Just don’t lie and you’ll find your true self. Even if it is national coming out day, don’t feel pressured into doing so. Plenty of people come out on a daily basis. You make the day for yourself. Remember this is just a day for celebrating all the coming out stories as a whole.
Do so when you are comfortable with the person you are going to tell. My rule is if your gut doesn’t feel comfortable, don’t.
Questions will be asked. Just be honest.
Some people will leave and abandon you for being yourself. If you think about it, you didn’t change in that moment, they did. They probably weren’t your friends anyway.
Some people need time to accept it. Give them time. Time makes everything better. Time is good for sorting things out really.
Don’t be afraid.
To those who are on the receiving end of this.
Don’t ask “Are you sure?” Yes, they are sure. I can assure you that by that time they figured out who they are. That person is comfortable with telling you.
You might not fully understand and that’s okay. You can ask questions but listen to what they have to say. Don’t interject. You will have your turn to say something. It’s a dialogue.
If you think someone is coming out just to make your life difficult, remember that coming out is for them not you. This is someone you cared about up until this point. Why stop now? Don’t be the person that abandons your friend or family member. You may need them someday.