Finding Ourselves, Piece By Piece, After Coming Out

Eris Baker as Tess on 'This Is Us' (screen capture via YouTube)
Eris Baker as Tess on ‘This Is Us’ (screen capture via YouTube)

Remember when you thought coming out WAS the tough part?

On last night’s season finale of NBC’s acclaimed hit series This Is Us, young Tess (played by Eris Baker) confided in her Uncle Kevin (Justin Hartley) that she’s struggling with a million questions about finding her authentic self since coming out recently.

“I thought coming out to you guys would be the hardest part,” says Tess. “But, instead, I just have a million more questions about myself.”

“What clothes make me feel like the real me? What books should I be reading? What movies should I be seeing? When will I finally decide to tell my friends?”

Wise (and hunky) uncle Kevin, while admitting he never went through the exact same thing, takes a breath before sharing with Tess that most of us don’t figure ourselves out all at once.

Boy, is that true.

“I think it happens over a long period of time – piece by piece,” says Kevin as he goes on to list personal revelations he’s experienced along the way.

“We go through this life, slowly but surely, collecting little pieces of ourselves that we can’t really live without until, eventually we have enough of them to where we feel whole,” says the uncle who has certainly had his own personal learning curve as an adult.

“You, my niece, have so many years ahead of you to find all of your pieces.”

Watch the two actors handle this complicated, real life moment with finesse below.

In case you missed Tess’s touching coming out to her parents (played by Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson), hit the play button below.

I think a LOT of people will understand/remember the anxious, emotional, caught-in-the-throat moment.

This is art reflecting life.

This is us.

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