Happy Coming Out Day!
You may have heard it said that queer people never stop coming out. It’s true. I first came out when I was sixteen (around 2001). I started by telling my father that I was bi. Not long after that, I told my mother, and then a few close friends. It wasn’t a big deal, really. My family had always celebrated love and self-expression, and my friends were always kind to everyone. But, for some reason, it was still terrifying. Then, as a young adult, I learned the term Pansexual, and suddenly, I felt I had to come out all over again – “Oh, actually, y’all, I’m Pan, not bi.” And, you know what? It was still scary.
Most recently (within the past five years), I’ve started examining my gender. It began when I was asked to identify my pronouns, and I found I really did not want to. Ultimately, through self examination, I came to understand myself as a person who is mostly ‘not a girl,’ and I adopted She/They as my pronouns. But, to tell you the truth, I am still exploring my gender. And, I am terrified I may have to come out yet again. Because, what it comes down to is this – coming out, even in the best of circumstances, is scary.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it does get easier over time. These days, I don’t think twice about wearing my pride merch and telling anyone who asks that I am pansexual, or that my pronouns are she/they. But, in the beginning, it can be terrifying. That’s why, this coming out day, I want to make sure you are aware of The Coming Out Handbook from The Trevor Project. And, I want to assure you that if you aren’t ready to come out just yet, that’s okay too. Out or not, you are still loved, and you are still valid.