Today is National Coming Out Day. Culturally, “coming out” experiences are distinct rites of passage that are a shared experience for most rainbow people – we all have our coming out stories. It’s one of the things that unite us as a “tribe.”
Coming out can be scary as hell, even life threatening. And also powerful, uplifting, inspiring, and transformative events. I wouldn’t trade my coming out experiences for anything in the world.
Nowadays, I don’t even think about it because it’s so routine. Just mentioning my “husband” does the trick. But I remember a time when my heart raced with fear and I had to muster up every bit of courage, determination, and strength to make an admission to myself and to others about who I was as a man who loves men.
Coming out is also a political act and every ounce of progress for equality under the law and tolerance for LGBT+ people has been built on the individual work of thousands and thousands who came out, showed up, stood up as themselves, and said “I am what I am” regardless of what anyone else says or thinks about it. I’m proud of this and I claim the part I’ve played in the march towards a more inclusive, tolerant, and equal world.