Reply To: Coming Out All the Way! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ˜

#123755
DeeAnn Hopings
AMBASSADOR

Abby:

Youโ€™ve hit upon some very important elements. Coming out to ourselves is the single most significant thing that we can do. It all starts with us. If we canโ€™t accept ourselves and get comfortable with ourselves, no one else will. That is the simple truth of it.

Coming out is an odd thing. Straight people donโ€™t have to do it and therefore most have no idea what it entails. At the root, it is telling your personal story: how you feel currently, how you felt in the past, what you now understand about your history, how you want your life to evolve going forward, etc. It is also to be thoughtful about how we present this information to others. What you tell others needs to be presented in a way that they can hear it. The is why avoiding being outed is a big deal. When people are forced into a reactionary mode, it is VERY difficult to say what you need to say. Thatโ€™s why coming out on your own schedule and on your own terms makes such a difference.

So, it helps to give some thought to what you want to say and how you will go about it. As you have already talked to some who are closest to you, that may provide some insights as to how to proceed. The message may need to be changed a bit depending upon who you are talking to. It might help to write things down in order to crystallize your thoughts. But, reading from a script tends to be a bit impersonal.

Over time, folks have come out in many different way: speaking to someone directly, over the phone, E-mail/text, social media and perhaps there are some that I havenโ€™t heard about yet.

I donโ€™t know if there is a right or wrong way. It probably comes down to how you feel you can get your message across and our preferences can vary. Leading up to my coming out, I told my daughter and son (both grown and living in other states from me), 7-8 close friends and my department manager at the time. I had separate conversations with my kids over the phone. I didnโ€™t have much choice as they lived long distances from me. The rest were told separately and in person. All things being equal, in person is my preference. For me, I think it comes down to not wanting to do something in an impersonal way and I want to be able to hear what is said and also be aware of the non-verbal communication. Reason being that our physical gestures sometimes belie what we say. Anyway, foremost is doing this in a way that you can say what you need to in away that is in keeping with your preferences and sensibilities.

To close, I am reminded of something that Rachel Maddox said:

โ€œThe single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what youโ€™ve just told them.โ€

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