I’ve never been one to celebrate, or really even acknowledge, “National Coming Out Day.” I came out years ago to the people closest in my life, overcame a few growing pains through the process, and came out the other side stronger, closer, healthier.
But truth be told, the story bores me now. When someone asks to hear my “coming out story,” I deliver the quickest summary with dismissive interest and energy. It’s not a memory, nor a process, I wish to keep reliving…a process I wish didn’t have to be such a production for so many.
But as long as there are people who are not exposed to “gay people” and are therefore ignorant, apprehensive, judgmental, scared, or threatened, there needs to be this production. As long as there are assumptions and expectations of an individual’s sexual orientation, there needs to be a production. As long as there are religious organizations who believe “gays” are Godless sinners who stand against the church, there needs to be a production. As long as there are governments taking away rights fought for and won, there needs to be a production. As long as there are governments in this day and age actively and currently (yes, currently) establishing inhumane concentration camps to torture and kill people based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, there needs to be a production.
The more that people come out, the more exposed and educated civilization will become and people will eventually realize that sexual orientation is a mere component of a person’s identity and character and not the sole determining factor of an individual’s worth.
Lack of education/exposure is the basis of fear. Once that is overcome, people will see all of our similarities and less of our differences. But until that day arrives, we must continue “coming out” and showing the rest of the world the normalcy in our faces, in our words, and in our lives.
I write this today, on National Coming Out Day, October 11th, for those brave pioneers and for those still living in fear.
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