Happy National Coming Out Day.
Since I came out as gay in 2013, my life has gotten more complicated in some ways and less complicated in other ways.
It’s more complicated because I have to take being gay seriously as a part of myself. I don’t have the freedom anymore to say that it isn’t that important, that it’s always something manageable, that it doesn’t touch other parts of my life. I don’t have the freedom to be opinionless about the plight of LGBT people in our society. I don’t have to the freedom to act like I’m not part of the LGBT community just because I’m a Christian and just because I’m [imperfectly, attemptedly, work-in-progress-ly] celibate. I don’t have the freedom to call Christians us and LGBT people them. I don’t have the freedom to be apolitical, even though I don’t have the answers.
It’s less complicated because I don’t have to make excuses for not being married yet. I don’t have to monitor my behavior, my gestures, my voice, my interests, my relationships, to make sure nobody will suspect I’m gay. I don’t have to be evasive when people ask about my romantic interests. I don’t have to hide my emotional life when my friends tell me about theirs. I don’t have to keep my friends at arm’s length. I’m allowed to be transparent about exactly what I’m struggling with, with anybody I choose. I get to make jokes about sexual attraction, like normal people do. I get to fail in my attempts at chastity without feeling like a monster. I don’t have to have secrets. I don’t have to stay up at night wondering what people would do if they found out about the real me. I already know.
Not everybody wants to come out or believes it’s okay to do, and that’s up to them. Not everybody has the freedom to come out without fearing for their safety, and that’s a terrible injustice.
I’m so grateful that my friends and family have made it so easy for me — but even in the best of circumstances, coming out and living out is a hard thing, and I’m proud of myself. I have not regretted coming out even once in three years.
I’m here if you want to talk.