Thursday, December 5, 2013

LGBThursday: About Coming Out or "if everyone was gay..."

Hello, everyone! This is Marc Willow. 

Join me on this wonderful LGBThursday to think a little about the misconceptions about Coming Out as homosexual. 
Enjoy, pumpkins! 

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National Coming Out Day logo, designed by arti...
National Coming Out Day logo, designed by artist Keith Haring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I feel like we read so much about Coming out on the Internet, in YouTube videos, on blogs...So much information! But there is this general misconception about what it actually means to come out as homosexual: Too often people start to make your coming out about them - parents, friends, God... 

Let me set something straight: Coming out isn't about your parents accepting you. It's not about your friends understanding. It's not about confessing something to the world. 
It's about opening yourself up to you, about saying yes to the person that you're meant to be, to get closer and closer to your best version of yourself. 
A lot of times we are pulled away from our true identities, for example when we are in an abusive relationship or when we're forced to pursue a certain career that our parents chose for us. But there is nothing like the feeling of getting closer step by step to the person you're meant to be. Then you know you're on the right path and every step in another direction feels like going back to a lesser state.
I hate it, when people think your coming out is about them. Parents saying: How can you do this to us? What are the neighbours gonna think? Friends saying: Why did you lie to me? As if coming to terms with your sexuality has something to do with them! 
It's such a self-centered behaveiour, especially when coming out is so hard. So hard to accept that your reality will be different than anybody else's. So hard to accept this truth for yourself, especially in the vulnerable age of early adulthood, where all you really want to do is fit in. But you always feel that you can't. Because there is this thing that's keeping you from being "normal".

But what you've got to understand is, that it's actually the world that's keeping you from being normal. Normal, that is, in your own way. 

I always imagined, what the world would be like, if everyone was gay... Then the straight people would need to come out and in return I would have never gone through this whole process. What a strange feeling. I feel this whole coming out process was such a shaping, moulding, defining experience to me, I don't know what person I would be without it. An be careful, I mean the process of coming out, not the whole gay thing. I learned some very important stuff back then about acceptance, diversity and identity and I don't know, if I had learned about all this, if I didn't have had to come out.

From time to time I find myself in denial about how much this whole coming out experience changed me, not only that particular moment, when I really came out to friends and family, I mean also the time before, when I came out to myself, when I began coming to terms with my sexuality. 
There were times, too, when I felt like I didn't belong anywhere, but other times I felt, how incredibly liberating this can also be: to find yourself outside the common boundaries can be scary, but it can mean a million of new possibilities. 

And so I learned not only to accept myself, but also to stop thinking my path in life was less desirable than others. I learned that choosing another direction doesn't always mean getting somewhere else in the end. Because I'm happy now. And I'm sure you will be too. 

How was your coming out experience? What has changed since then, if anything? 
Let's collect some Coming Out stories in the comments, no matter if you yourself came out or a friend/family member. 
It will be great!
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See you next time!  

-M