Updated: Oct 27, 2021
October 11th is a day to be celebrated, not only by the queer community but by everyone. Homophobia and transphobia thrive in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, thus we must work harder to empower voices and bring new connotations to the concept of coming out.
Coming out is not an event, but rather a process-- and that process begins within yourself.
Today marks my two-year anniversary of coming out to my community at university, however, this is not when I "came out". My coming out process began in high school, when I first came out to myself.
One of the most pivotal moments in my coming out journey was reading "Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda" in my tenth grade English class. It helped me identify with an identity I had yet to identify with. Although reading about a gay teenager navigating his identity helped with my internal coming out process, there were many passages that evoked fear within me:
“I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. […] And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”
At this time, I couldn't even say "gay" or "lesbian" without choking on the word itself, so when I learned that coming out was eternal, I was petrified -- thanks Simon!
Grade 10 me wondered why I ever needed to come out in the first place. Accepting that you're different is hard enough as a kid, and conjuring up the courage to be vulnerable with others about a taboo topic is even harder.
Now, I view coming out as something entirely different. It's not something to be viewed of as a burden or something to be feared, but rather something empowering and liberating.
Coming out is about confidently voicing who you are.
Coming out is about normalizing queer conversations and bridging the gap between silence and knowledge.
Coming out is not about dividing love, but being inclusive to all love.
Coming out is about unpacking the stigma around queer topics.
But above all, coming out is about shifting the connotation from a dramatic event filled with fear and tears to a casual process filled with light, truth, and progress.
- Alexa from All Love, All Ways :)