Today is the 27th annual LGBTQ Coming Out day. I could just tell you that I’m bisexual and move on but that would overlook the power of coming out and the opportunity “coming out” presents in so many other situations.
When I look back at the last five decades of my life I realize I’ve known (at some level) I was bisexual for a very long time. The revelation comes in openly acknowledging old knowledge. What is more interesting to me is the journey that brought me to this place at this time.
Like so many kids I’ve played the game of trying to balance a coin on edge while recognizing it will ultimately end up landing on heads or tails. It was just assumed I would be heterosexual but might possibly be homosexual. As it has turned out I’ve been attracted to people of both sexes. Like so many people I’ve had to come to accept both who I am sexually attracted to and, more importantly, the difference between attraction and promiscuity. There is no conflict between my sexuality and the ongoing commitment my wife and I share. A bigger concern comes over fears of judgment from people whose opinion I value but who really have no business commenting on my personal life. The challenge in dealing with oppositional judgment of my sexuality is recognition that the most vigorous opposition often masks equally vigorous insecurities. The bigger challenge comes in being open to the possibility that being open about my own sexuality might lead to an equally open conversation on the very edge of the delicate balance of mutual respect and personal vulnerability.
Coming out is a process. For me the process included: self awareness; recognition of being different; acceptance of those differences; recognition of my own fears as well as the opposition and insecurities of others; and Acknowledgement of the need to balance my own rights with the need to honor the fears and insecurities of others. As I write this I am struck by how readily this same process can be applied to other situations.
As I think of situations and conversations I’ve experienced I have to wonder what it would look like if we had National Coming out Day for more than LGBTQ people. Possibilities that come to mind include:
- Racial fear Coming out day – I know a guy who moved from an urban area after riots took place 1,750 miles away.
- So desperately lonely I feel invisible day.
- I’m so afraid I always carry a gun day.
- The problems of the world overwhelm me day.
- I’d like to share my ideas day.
- Etc. Etc. Etc.
The point is that so many of us carry things around with us and are afraid to share those things with others. We could learn a great deal from the LGBTQ community that has gone before us. There are people who have accepted who they are, dealt with their fears and the fears of others, struggled with keeping their dignity while recognizing other’s insecurities and still held their heads high.
It gets better. We know this from those who have gone before us.
For more information go to: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/national-coming-out-day
Copyright 2015 Dan Lococo. All rights reserved.