When I was in middle school, I came out, erroneously, to my mother. We kept things a secret between us, which didn’t feel very much like coming out at all. Aren’t you supposed to treat coming out of the closet like this amazing gasp of air? Aren’t you supposed to want to shout it from the rooftops?
I guess not, because I came out again in high school. And then again, for the third time, in college. The first two times, I’d come out merely as “gay.” It took me a decade since my first “coming out” to realize that that word was both too vast and too small to fit what I was.
Whether you’re gay, queer, trans, or bisexual, whether you’re a gold-star lesbian or a pansexual demi-ace, you matter. That’s what the point of all this is. All the fanfare, all the parades. National Coming Out day is October 11, and people from all over the country are encouraged, through advertisements, social media, and even pop songs, to come out. As Harvey Milk said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “none of us are out of the closet until all of us are out of the closet.”
Most of us know, of course, that it’s not that simple. That you never really stop coming out. That you need to take your time with it, that it’s personal, that it might not fit very neatly into your life at the moment, or at any moment in the near future. That’s okay. The great thing about having a coming out day is that, despite all the fanfare and pressure, it’s a reminder that it’s up to you. However you want to express who you are is okay, and whatever timeline you choose to do it on is okay. It’s your identity. There’s no rush. And no one’s telling you you’re not valid or that you have to come out this instant in order to be a part of the club.
You’re part of the club already, and you’ll soon learn, hopefully, that it’s one of the best clubs around.
THE COLLECTION NOIRE
On October 11, you’ll hear a lot of things, you’ll probably see a lot of rainbows, too. The important thing to remember is that whatever kind of gay you are, you’re alright. Take your time, don’t agonize over it, and for god’s sake don’t let yourself be held back because you’re scared of what people will say or what they’ll think. It’s about what you say, and what you think. And if coming out doesn’t necessarily bring you that much closer to having the kind of life you want, know this: it might just bring you one step closer to getting the kind of love you want. And that’s something worth celebrating.
Happy Coming Out Day from all of us at Bazooka Grooves. We love you just the way you are.