When we first hear ourselves say it out loud, “I’m gay”; we just might find ourself using different tones, making several different facial expressions, and may even adjust our cardigan a few hundred times before finding satisfaction in just how unique and perfect it sounds leaving our lips. We just might have the opposite effect too; which is the fear we all have. How someone else will accept us, how quirky we portray this magnificent part of ourselves, or just how fragile and insecure we truly feel. Coming out; as the world puts it, is another way of coming out as oneself. Once we begin to accept ourself, it makes this journey easier; or does it?
Many of us are raised in a world where homosexuality is a sin. Some of us live in cultures where it’s not even spoken of; good or bad. Then we have those who are brought up with homosexual parents, aunts, cousins, uncles, etc., yet we still have some reserve when it comes to our own sexual identity. We read coming out stories, checklist on how to prepare yourself for this day, skim blog articles, thumb through self help guides, and even join several support groups either online or within a community near your residence. But there is nothing that will prepare you more than having confidence.
Confidence can be faked and for some of us, we just might have to fake to get through this first part. Accepting yourself doesn’t end even after you’ve come out to your friends & family.. Accepting myself didn’t truly root into my everyday until I had been out to myself for nearly 11 years. Heterosexual marriage of 14 years ending in divorce, four children, and the loss of best friends. You see, when we hear others who are out and proud say; “love yourself for who you are”, but who am I really? We are insecure and often time confused. Not confused about our identity, but of our confidence in ourself. Think of how you felt when you stood in front of the class to give yourhistorical presentation. Many of us will stand stiff as a board, butt cheeks clinched, toes curled, gripping the paper that happens to be shaking like a leaf, starring out into the class with fear that you just might fuck this up; leaving someone laughing at you, mispronouncing a word making you seem stupid. This is a lot like how most of us feel when we have to think of coming out. Maybe not how we feel coming out to everyone, but we’ve got at least one person we have on our list that’ll make us feel this way. Welcome to coming out and how it feels before we give our presentation
I’m gay, I’m a lesbian, I’m transgender, I’m pansexual, I’m bisexual, I’m me. You are the person who is trying to look up other blogs, podcasts, groups, and people from the LGBT+ community in hiding, but open. Well if you count opening it up on my phone and minimizing the most recent search and placing your phone down on the kitchen table; I’d say that’s pretty open…..right?
Let’s cut the bullshit. Let’s be real. Let’s take this journey by the rainbow and own it, or at least fake it; because after awhile you’ll believe it. No matter how many friends who support you, how many positive quotes you read daily; Nothing will prepare you enough to just believe in yourself like just letting the words come out. No fancy speech, no well put together email, and no amount of your favorite chocolate will make you feel as invigorated or nauseous as just saying it. Think of it as that horribly nerve wracking historical presentation. You can’t change the verbiage to bring history haters into loving history, but you can make it your own enough to get their attention long enough to understand the main topic.