Today is coming out day!
As I write this I am thinking about all the people who are sharing with their family member or close friends that they are not heterosexual. Who are facing their fears, pent up anxieties and quite possibly their worst imaginings that are and maybe aren’t actually happening.
I have come back to this draft a number of times over the course of today. And now Coming Out Day is over. But you know what? Sometimes a pause before hitting publish isn’t a bad thing. Because sometimes its better to wait and speak to a couple more people before you put it all out there for (potentially) the world to read.
Some time ago I wrote a post called Compassion. You might like to check it out as it relates very specifically to what I am about to say, and the questions I want you to spend some serious time thinking about. Obviously I do not need to hear your musings or answers, but if you want to share, then please feel free! So here goes..
QUESTION? If you had a close friend or family member come to you and reveal that they identify as LGBTQI how do you think you would respond to them? How do you think you should respond to them? And what would you do in the years after as they stop hiding and potentially start advocating for more acceptance and compassion for people who identify as LGBTQI?
I have in the lead up to today taken my hat off many times to those who are, in my book, very brave. Those who took the steps to tell the people around them about their sexuality.
I call them brave because to be constantly hiding a part of who you are is horrible, and the need to be real with those around you will eventually burst out of you despite your fears. Even when it exposes you to ridicule, condemnation, rejection and quite possibly physical and emotional abuse in some instances. When loved ones try to tell you that you are sinful, or that you must suppress or hide. That somehow you need be fixed.
I have seen how heated the ‘debate’ has become here in my home country of Australia as we head towards a decision over Same Sex Marriage. It often doesn’t take long for those conversations on social media to turn nasty. Where people begin cyber screaming at each other. I have come to the conclusion that no one’wins’ in these scenarios. People get hurt. Human beings get yelled down, and the messages that both people are trying to share gets lost. People retreat eventually, to lick their wounds. Its not a pretty picture at all. So what can we do to get this right? I suggest that it is going to take a little bit of time walking in the other’s shoes, even if they are uncomfortable, ill fitting, or, for some, perhaps the idea disgusts you to even think about such subjects?
Here is the challenge. Start seriously thinking about what your response would be. Because you might find out that someone you never in your wildest dreams could have imagined is part of the LGBTQI community.
Yesterday was Coming out Day.
And as a woman who has almost taken til her 40th Birthday to come out as Bisexual, today is another step toward some sort of healing as I share what will likely shock people who have known me for years. But friends… NO, I don’t have a second head growing off my neck. And… YES, I still love God with all my heart. And…YES I am terrified to share this. And… NO, I will not reject you if you disagree with me on subjects relating to human sexuality. And… YES, I will still love you even if we disagree on stuff.
Its the day after ‘Coming out day’. It seems that I’ll alway be a bit late in saying anything about being bisexual. But maybe today is just a new day to put one foot in front of the other and with head up high declare this a significant day in my life. Ashamed no more.