Is It Time To Come Out? When Should We? How Many Times?

 

Did you come out yesterday?  If not yesterday, did you come out on a previous National Coming Out Day?  Why do we have such a day when we have sports stars, actors, and other public figures coming out whenever they want to.  Don't they know we have a special day for that?

National Coming Out Day (NCOD)was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O'Leary, an openly gay political leader from Los Angeles and then head of the National Gay Rights Advocates.[3][4] The date of October 11 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[1]

NCOD is an annual civil awareness day internationally observed on October 11.[1] Founded in 1988, in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, the emphasis is that the most basic form of activism is coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person.[2] The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views. The process of coming out involves self-disclosure of one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

wikipedia.com

So when should you come out? Is it on October 11th? Or do you want your own special day not shared with anyone else?  Youtuber Benton gives us those important two cents by listing three important things one needs to think about before coming out.

 

 

1) Are you safe. 

2) When do you want to start being happy. 

3) How much of our life do you want to spend being yourself. 

Benton basically boils coming out down to those three aspects, but highlights "there's no better time than now!" … but always revert back to #1 and make sure that is happening before taking the emotional plunge and release.

 

Katie Dupere from Mashable.com brings to light that even after we are out, may the first time have been on a day in October or any other stressful day of the year, we often need to come out many other times in our lives.  She writes the choice to come out the first time or the multiple other times is personal and one that doesn't always need to happen.

October 11 is National Coming Out Day, a day created to celebrate those who have made the decision to come out, claiming their queered identities publicly. With phrases like “out and proud” and “out is the new in” permeating LGBTQ culture, it’s no surprise that this day has developed major cultural importance. Declaring yourself as part of the LGBTQ community, after all, is seen as valuable — superior, even, to staying in the closet. It is liberating, it sets an example to young queer kids, it creates a support network and builds an example.

“The choice to come out comes with a lot of considerations,” [Dani Heffernan, senior media strategist at GLAAD, tells Mashable.]  "Just because someone chooses not to disclose doesn’t mean they are hiding or ‘living in a closet’ or that they are ashamed of who they are.

“Just because [a person] chooses not to disclose doesn’t mean [their] living a non-authentic or a less valuable life.”

We talk about coming out as the first step to living authenticity as a queer person. But it comes with caveats and complications that make it difficult to accept it as a beneficial option for all queer people. Depending on your religion, global location, cultural background, field of work and countless other factors, coming out could be simple — or extremely dangerous, with a high risk of personal harm.

We are constantly sold the idea that coming out is a destination — that you come out and simply are out. In reality, coming out is actually a never-ending journey. As new people cross your path and new situations arise, disclosure becomes a constant decision.

In some ways, we all find ourselves back in the closet in given moments. In a time and space that values straight and non-trans identities as normal and natural, anything deviating from that norm is something to disclose. Queerness is still something to explain.

But disclosure, and the burden of risk associated with that disclosure, isn’t always something we want to entertain. Even in the least threatening social contexts, coming out isn’t mandatory, though it’s marketed as something all LGBTQ people are obligated to do.

“There have been times in my life where I just didn’t feel like having that conversation today,” Gingrich says. “It’s about self-care, too. It’s okay sometimes to not engage. Everyone needs a break.” – mashable.com

I don't have any powerful or memorable words about coming out.  My first coming out occurred as I drove to my boyfriend's house to ask him about his cheating ways.  I needed the support and guidance of mom so a phone call was made and all was spilled.

So for some great words of inspiration on NCOD or any day, I turned to Haley Star's personal page.  She wrote:

No matter how amazing you think your friends or family are, coming out is likely one of the hardest things you will do in your life. The fear, emotions and anxiety that build up to that moment cannot be put into words – because you yourself don't know how to feel about any of it. I, like many out there, was afraid to come out to my family so I chose to do so in a letter. Their reactions were those of love, light and happiness – but for many out there, that reaction is not the one they receive. So many are kicked out of their homes, disowned from their parents and told never to come back again.

While this is a joyous day for many of us, think of those that are less fortunate. There are many newly out kids around us that need the love from us they aren't getting from their family. I've been lucky enough to impact hundreds of thousands around the world with my videos on YouTube, but even then – that's not enough. We have to be a part of the solution and work harder to make sure everyone that wants to come out, can.

No one should be afraid to be who they are, ever. There should always be someone around that they can turn to. So on this National Coming Out Day – ask yourself how you can help those that need you. A simple hug goes a lot farther than you might think… heart emoticon

As always, thanks for those kind and inspiring words Haley Star!

Do you agree that coming out isn't mandatory, but it's marketed as something we are all obligated to do?

Is there a pressure to be out?  Have you pressed someone to come out?

Is there difference in the pressure to be out with family, at work, in your residence / building?

Do you agree with Benton that coming out will start the beginning of your new happy life?

 

 

For more of Katie Dupere's story, Not All Queer People Decide To Come Out, And That Should Be Okay, head on over to mashable.com.

Source : Mashable.com

1 thought on “Is It Time To Come Out? When Should We? How Many Times?”

  1. I’ve got to admit, I find

    I've got to admit, I find most of these video bloggers annoying and self promoting, so if I am impressed I think it says something about the quality. By the way I'm in my mid 50's, so it is generational. I would just add one thing. I am a very private person, and coming out was not due to fear as much as not wanting everyone to know my business. What I did learn is that I could be honest with individuals and be happy. For me coming out is not so much a public proclaimation as it is not hiding. 

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