Reply To: The Process of Coming Out…

DeeAnn Hopings


As Rachel Maddow said:

“The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you’ve just told them.”

The reason I asked for this forum is that we’ve all seen threads here, and other places, where someone was outed and it’s downhill from there. It is an unfortunate intersection of several things:

  • Whatever exchange happens, it often turns into an argument very quickly.
  • We are subject to whatever biases the person has who is doing the outing. Everything is seen through their lens.
  • Since we are rarely prepared for this, it is a complete shock and surprise.
  • Once the narrative is lost, it is EXTREMELY difficult to regain it.
  • When we get to tell our story, we get to explain how we feel at that point, but we can also speak from the viewpoint of past situations. It is likely that in suppressing how we really felt or how we wanted to react, but couldn’t, the memories and opinions of others will be quite different. The importance is being able to correct those memories and thoughts. If we can’t do this, the incorrect version will continue to be floated as the truth.
  • Suppressing our true feelings takes a toll. It takes an investment of time and energy in order to hide what we know to be true. It is time and energy that could be put to much better use.
  • Until we come out, we won’t experience any positive energies from others. Often the reactions that we receive are much better than we ever would have expected, but we’ll never know unless we do come out.

I’m originally from Ohio and many still remember the legendary football coach from Ohio State, Woody Hayes. He was never fond of the forward pass. He explained this by saying: “Three things can happen when you pass and two of them are bad!”.

When we get outed, about the only that can happen that might be good is that our secret is now out. We don’t have to invest in maintaining the lie. However, since it is unlikely that we get to tell our story, I think all that does  is exchange one form of stress for another.

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