Coming Out: Motivation

National Coming Out Day is October 11th. This year, I’ve decided to write a series of blog entries on the subject. My focus: Motivation, memories and momentum.

I want a world where no one has to “come out.” Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. So what motivates a person living in a heterocentric world to live openly as homosexual? 

It’s what motivates a woman to live as a woman or a redhead to live as a redhead: It’s who they are. Simple. I’m amazed by those who have little or no interaction with gay people, yet claim to “know” that we “choose” to be gay. Why would someone choose to be considered unequal by their own government or to be shunned by their communities or families? They don’t. 

Instead, people choose to be honest and live openly. In many cases, they’ve struggled year after year, day after day, to put themselves in a box so that they may not face the unnecessary persecution many gay people still face. But they finally figure out that the struggle and the persecution are ultimately worth it.

Here’s what happens when you come out: The people who stick by you become even closer to you. Sure, you may lose some relationships in the process. But the ones you create or strengthen from finally being honest are far better and far more fulfilling than the ones you lost ever were. Your friends and family know that you’ve trusted them with something that is still hard for some people to handle. And you know that you can trust them almost quite literally with your life. The road to honesty may be a tough one, but the outcome is worth it. 

 

Coming out should be done for oneself. But once one does come out, it paves the way for others. It softens hearts and it allows you to talk with others who may be struggling with the same issue you’ve just worked through. 

We are meant to love. But humanity has gotten lost along the way. We’ve let power, politics and people carrying the banner of religion get in our way. In the America I know, we can have differing views and still love. We can take separate sides on issues and still agree to disagree, without violence or hateful rhetoric.

Being honest with myself and others was my personal motivation for coming out. But now I see that – by my coming out and by thousands of others coming out – it ultimately helps move America forward.

What’s funny to me now is how my memories have changed as my perspective has changed. And now I realize the struggle has made me stronger. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

 

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