Circus Rambles - On coming out
I didn't originally plan on talking much about this, but then I got the urge to ramble. So it goes.
I can't really say I've ever had a big public coming out. Mostly it's been a bunch of small ones. One of the more nerve-wracking ones was coming out as bisexual (actually biromantic but that's a story for another paragraph) to my parents. We weren't ever a religious family, but I didn't have a good idea of how my parents felt about LGBT issues and I'd spent most of my high school career being surrounded by people at church who thought it was a sin. Also, this all took place in Arkansas. So yeah. (Incidentally, I was not out in high school, because Arkansas. I think it was one of the factors causing friction in my first relationship, and I feel bad about that.)
How it went, though, was like this: I spent hours on an e-mail to my dad, and finally sent it. He replied by saying that they loved me no matter who I was. Somehow my mom ended up thinking I was a lesbian for about a year, so later I had to have an awkward conversation with her to correct her. I'm still not sure how that happened. But all in all, I think it went well.
Years later, I started seeing the term "demisexual" around and realizing that it fit me really well. I didn't really come out with that though, except to the significant other I had at the time. For the most part, I don't volunteer the information unless asked, because I find that a lot of people don't really understand the term or think that it's just a lifestyle choice and not an orientation. Biromantic demisexual is the term for me, but it's also kind of a mouthful and it takes a minute to explain to people, so in the past I've occasionally shortened it to bisexual, partly to make things simpler for others to understand and partly because of that mountain of trust issues that I'm still trying to chip away at.
Over the past year, I've come to the realization that I'm genderqueer, and I came out right here on this very blog! It made me just as nervous as talking to the parents, if not more so. But I did it, and I'm glad I did.
I feel like I've been very lucky as far as my experiences with my identity, at least as far as gender identity and sexuality go. It's gone well overall. I know that not everyone has it so well.
I don't know how qualified I am to give advice, but I guess mine would be this: Own your identity while also keeping yourself safe. You choose who to come out to and when to do it, and it isn't anyone else's business. If you might be physically hurt for coming out, then you don't have to. If you have to hide it for a while in order to remain safe, that doesn't make you less of a person, and it doesn't diminish who you are. You have as much right to survive as anyone else. You are who you are, and that's okay.
If you ever need help, I've always liked The Trevor Project, although I do not have very much personal experience with them.
I also don't have much personal experience with writing good conclusions to blog posts.