Today is National Coming Out Day.
This is a long one, buckle up.
While I fully believe "coming out" and being proud of who you are and all of that goes along with that is absolutely wonderful, I seem to always find myself a little angry on this day.
Maybe angry is harsh... tired? annoyed? perplexed? Not happy.
Coming out for some people is an extremely daunting, terrifying, awful, dangerous experience and for others it is equivalent to saying "I don't like mushrooms on my pizza". This day is meant to celebrate and create a feeling of safety and acceptance. It is meant to educate those who may harbor hate towards non-heterosexuals. It is meant to demystify. All that is great. Awesome. (Check out the history of NCOD here)
I don't think I should have to "come out" to do all that.
NOW HEAR ME OUT
I'm talking about what I want. What I WISH was the truth and where I wish our society was at. It's not, I know that. I know that I will always, probably for my entire life have people questioning me and looking for some explanation... but the bottom line is, I don't owe one to anyone.
Coming out should not be a requirement for the members of the LGBTQA+ community.
I don't think it is necessary for me to ever explain my sexual preferences to anyone that I am not interested in pursuing.
If you are not interested in dating me...why the hell do you care about it? Why in any world would I - out of the blue - explain to you that I am not straight? Why does someone not being straight mean they have to have some in depth-dramatic-potentially dangerous conversation with...ANYONE?
People ask me a lot if I've ever come out to my family. The answer is no. I've never come out to anyone. I've never felt the need or desire to approach anyone and say "I want to tell you something. I'm not a heterosexual."
*dramatic pause in anticipation of their response*
Don't get me wrong. I don't hide anything and I will talk all damn day about sexuality and sex. ALL. DAMN. DAY. It is an interesting topic that EVERYONE has a different perspective on so I understand the curiosity. I get that people want to know and are interested in hearing about other experiences.
What I do not get is the pressure that is put on someone who identifies as LGBTQA+ to label themselves as such. I especially do not understand the pressure that is put on members of this community BY MEMBERS OF THIS COMMUNITY.
I was scolded by someone who identifies as bisexual after answering the question "Are you out to you parents" with a "no."
- That ain't cha business
- My relationship with my parents and my family is my own, don't tell me what I am required to do.
- Because of this BULLSHIT question and her attempt at scolding me, I had to sit at a bar on a Saturday night and explain that my parents will meet someone I am dating when I feel that person is my person - basically when I am engaged. Until then, it's not their business. I then also had to explain everything I am outlining here. Not what I intended on doing that night.
- "It's your duty to educate" Oh for real? It is my "duty" to come out to everyone I know simply to educate them? No. It is my "duty" as a human being to stand up for what I believe is right. It is my "duty" to vote and advocate for laws and policies that I believe are right. It is my "duty" to correct someone when they spread hate or ignorance. But no, absolutely it is NOT my "duty" to have a coming out -experience- with every person I encounter in order to "educate" them.
If you're straight... you get a pass?
If I am dating a man, no one asks questions. No one really gives a shit. I'm just "in a relationship" or "on a date".
I wouldn't have to explain my orientation to anyone. I'd introduce him "this is *insert man's name of your choosing* " and THAT IS IT. I wouldn't even have to clarify if we were dating, or officially together, or married, or what the fuck ever.
Conversation would be over and we might get questions about how we met.
Why is it that two women get a different reaction? It's not different. It's not something to... gawk at, analyze, or sexualize...which I won't even get into right now.
The only reason I should ever have to come out to someone is if I am trying to date them.
"Disregard my long nails and lack of flannel, are you into girls too or...."
Coming out is YOUR STORY and YOUR decision and no one decides when or how or to who you tell your story.
Unless you're trying to slide into my DMs, cause yo girl is single, don't stress me.
If you do want to come out to your friends or family but aren't sure how, check out the resources created by HRC and if coming out doesn't go the way you hoped, find your community. We got you.