I was engaged in a discussion with some peers about the coming out process for LGBTQ men and women. One of the openly gay men in the group shared that for him, his life has been a perpetual coming out process … over and over again. He expressed that it’s never about the one, ultimate coming out experience but instead an ongoing series of experiences with various people, in various settings and with various responses.
Let me pause here to insert that this brief post is not to undermine the difficulty and complexity of the coming out process(es) for LGBTQ men and women, but instead to open the window to think about how many of us in our daily lives are also experiencing a coming out of sorts however minute in comparison.
After the previously mentioned conversation ended, my mind began to explore the various “coming out” experiences we all have. Those times when we open ourselves to vulnerability with no certainty as to if or when our emotions, desires, confessions or revelations will be reciprocated. The times when we reveal a deep dark secret for the sake of bonding or simply to be released from the bondage of holding it in. The times when we share with someone who has experienced trauma or pain, that we too have had a similar experience. The times that we decide that being in the closet – any closet – is no longer where we want to reside so we open the door to fully being and expressing ourselves. No longer do we hide behind being shy or reserved, or unsure, or insecure, or nonchalant, or obnoxious, or loud, or rude, or un-bothered, or arrogant. But we instead come out of the closet in our wholeness and embrace both our flaws and our gifts; our defeats and our destinies; our loves and our losses. Only then have we truly come out … only to be repeated time and time again.