There was a time when I thought it was silly to have a day dedicated to “coming out,” a month dedicated to Pride, or even a purpose for groups like Latter Gay Stories especially these featured sections dedicated to coming out stories.
There was also a time when, despite being a married lesbian woman, I still unknowingly struggled with my sexual identity. In a world where the decision for whom I choose to love and share my life with is currently still up for debate by others, met with hate, violence, shame, and judgement; I am honest to say that sometimes I still hesitate to hold my wife’s hand in public. I hesitate showing her affection in public for fear of being harassed. Because it happens every day. It’s a reality that does not escape me. There is no excuse for hate. If your religion, culture, society, or upbringing have trained you to believe that my love, my choices, my lifestyle is inappropriate or any less than yours, I truly believe you should question your perception of love, acceptance, and whatever your interpretation of God is.
We are reminded EVERY DAY that being human, being your authentic self, is hard. The fact that there is so much unnecessary suicide, addiction, and shame in the gay community is a direct example of how much continued hate there is not only toward gay people, but anyone who chooses to live a life that makes you question your skewed version of reality. Because the reality is that we are all different, which makes us all very much the same. We are all human beings trying to survive on a planet the very best we can. There is no room for intolerance, there is no need for any person to feel like they cannot express their truest self. There is no reason I, or anyone else, should have fear of being who we are, loving how we love, and shining our most brilliant light
My coming out wasn’t fascinating or earth shattering. It was actually quiet and personal. It was me breaking down my own insecurities to give MYSELF the freedom to move forward. I didn’t come out for my church or for my family, but for me.
Self-acceptance is a continued struggle, but we all share in that inner battle. So why not lift one another, celebrate each other, and lay your judgement down. This life is a journey, and it’s so much easier to be kind than evil. And I’m not talking about veiled hate, the type where you smile to my face while silently judging and preaching something different behind closed doors. I’m talking about unconditional love. The real deal. The stuff that raises our world. The stuff that makes a young boy or girl NEVER feel like suicide is an option.
I may be on a soap box, but my wife and I have two amazing kids watching TV right now in the other room. My wife and I encourage them to be who they are, to love whomever and however comes natural to them, to wear whatever their heart desires, to be kind, to speak their mind, to cry, to laugh, to be sad, happy, to bear each other’s burdens and live happily in whatever the hell is their truth.
To just BE.
I say this to myself: Just be. Don’t fear holding your husband’s hand or your wife’s hand, or multiple hands. Drop the fear and enjoy the journey.
Be OK with you. And LOVE.
We want to hear your story—please share it with us!
Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult; while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Coming out is rarely easy—but your story will help others draw inspiration from your own experience.
We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive and invite you to share your story now.
Your story can be shared anonymously.