What Coming Out Really Means
I think that National Coming Out Day is a wonderful thing in general. I think, assuming it is safe to do so, people are generally better off being honest and truthful. But can we please stop talking about coming out like it’s thing that you do once or a list that you check off and once you’ve told everyone on it, you’re done?
I come out every day.
When one of leaves the other, we kiss and say “I love you,” because we do. That’s coming out to anyone who happens to see us.
When we wear our pride bracelets in public? Coming out.
When one of us meets someone new? Eventually, we get to the relationship status portion of the conversation and I come out.
If someone is flirting with me or asks me out? I come out.
In casual conversation, making references that straight people generally don’t even have to think about, I come out. Using the phrase “my girlfriend,” in public? Yeah, that’s coming out.
Let’s be clear here, every day coming out is just and terrifying and dangerous as it was when I cam out the first time or the twelfth or the millionth. Because, you know, it’s possible that people will be cool. It is also possible that they will react with silent disdain. It is also possible that they will react with violence. That risk? It’s one A- and I live with every single day.
Coming out isn’t just a thing you do once or twice or twenty times, as someone who has made the decision to come out, it’s a daily obligation you take on like brushing your teeth or feeding the cat. And every day we put ourselves in danger of rejection, loss of friends, loss of livelihood or physical violence.
We do all of that simply so we can be honest about who we are and who we love because fuck the closet and any of the people who would reject us because we won’t lie about our lives.