Today is National Coming Out Day- yet in reality basically every day I out myself in one way or another. Not because being gay is a full time job, however eliminating heterosexism is. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked if I moved to Vermilion Cliffs for a boyfriend, or if I was 20 years older some of the older fellows would marry me. At times I miss my heterosexual privilege, however I would simply settle for full equality. The reality is, outing myself in Arizona means that I am admitting I’m a second class citizen civically and legally in my new home state. With that said, I do not feel Arizona state laws are reflective of Arizonians.
Outing yourself for the first time is rather scary. For many of us experience more loss than gain in the early days. In hindsight, the loss wasn’t really mine; it was others who were unable to stomach authenticity. The biggest thing I noticed upon outing myself the first time was the way society now perceived me.
1. No longer did I have a life. I now had a lifestyle – my lifestyle had not changed, the people in my life did though.
2. What was once considered my sense of morals was now reported as my agenda – while I am very liberal on social issues I date more conservative.
3. My civil rights were now termed gay rights – I simply wanted the same rights I had before I came out. I grew up knowing I would be married one day, and I never thought I could ever be legally fired for being gay.
4. My love life was now considered more a sexual relationship than a loving relationship – when I dated men no one was interested in my bedroom activities, and I never had single men approaching my boyfriend and I asking if they could watch or join us.
5. My athleticism was now attributed to being gay – can a woman be athletic in her own right? I did not run faster after coming out, and I was not jumping any higher.
6. While the “L WORD” gave visibility to the LGBT community, please understand the show was in no way reflective of my life.
7. I never had to defend heterosexuality, yet I am still asked how do I know if I am gay.
8. Christian ministries that insist I am suffering from same-sex attraction need to a take a field trip to the Kinsey institute.
9. Just because I do not have tatts, piercings and I do not drink/drug does not make me less gay smiling – it’s just me.
10. National Coming Out Day is for EVERYONE! Visibly showing your support might create a safe space for a loved one to take a step forward xo