Life Itself

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Here are some things I learned after coming out.

National Coming Out Day illustration generated via Midjourney

It feels good.

Living my life openly and fully feels fantastic. Before I came out, I felt like I was hiding or lying. I wasn’t happy. Now I can be unhappy for a plethora of other reasons!

It’s true: you’re always coming out.

You just don’t come out once, though a few times are “the big ones.” Coming out to friends and family can be challenging, but after you’re done with those, then it gets easier. And you continue to come out to coworkers, new friends, extended family, to people that come in and out of your life. And you get better at it, too!

But you don’t have to!

Though you’re always coming out, you don’t have to come out to everyone you meet. You get to choose. Some time ago, I stroke a conversation with someone on the bus. This person said something about “my wife.” For a second, I thought about correcting them and, by doing so, coming out to that stranger on the bus. But I didn’t think I would ever see this person again, and I didn’t feel very safe coming out to them, so I didn’t. And it was ok!

It’s never too late.

I didn’t come out to my friends and family until I was in my thirties! Sometimes I envy the kids today, who grow up with much more queer representation in media. But I don’t think I would have done anything differently in my life. If you get to choose when you come out, that’s only when it’s right for you! And if you don’t get to choose, I’m sorry. That must suck.

You do you!

You live your best queer life in whatever way you feel best. After all, it’s your life. If you want to be out, be out and proud. If you feel comfortable or safe in the closet, that’s fine too. If you need resources about coming out, HRC has you covered!

Do you want to share your own learnings or story? Leave a comment below!

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