As requested by an individual who commented on this blog, here is a post dedicated to answering the question: should I, or should I not come out? Before I begin, let me make it clear – just because I am gay does not mean I can control what other gay people do, or the outcomes of their actions. This is simply my two cents on the somewhat sensitive subject matter. Heck, if you’re straight, you should try coming out too! You might earn a few blank stares, but at least it won’t be because you’re so ugly you turn people to stone
like me. In fact, I think it is a worthy endeavor, because you would be forcing yourself into the shoes of those who have to announce their sexualities.
Let me reiterate that this is an umbrella post designed to give a general idea of whether one should come out or not. There are many factors that play into a decision like this, even if the decision shouldn’t be a big one at all. Please don’t hesitate to comment or message me with individual concerns or questions, or to suggest that I write about anything else – related to homosexuality or unrelated to homosexuality.
An easy way to structure this would be to split up my post into pros and cons. I’ll start with the cons, because everyone knows that seeing the rainbow is worth standing in the rain.
Safety. That is my main concern when I hear that someone is coming out, or has come out. As wrong as it is, being gay can place people in precarious positions when it comes to their well-beings. If someone has strict parents who are extremely close-minded and cannot tolerate the thought of a gay person living in their home, he or she may get kicked out (or worse) if he or she were to come out. If you go to a super religious school that is unaccepting and intolerant, you may face physical or emotional danger in regard to bullying. I’m not saying that these things will happen if you come out, but they are possibilities that you should take into account.
Also, coming out can be unnecessary. It’s great to be open about your sexuality, but if you feel like your friends and family are already aware and telling them won’t bring any benefits, maybe it would be better to just be nonchalant about it. This is how I feel like when I’m around my father – I know he couldn’t care less whether I am gay or not, so I don’t feel like adding to the amount of stress he has on his shoulders by telling him.
Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not a proponent of people pushing themselves inside the closet. Those are just a couple of the negative repercussions people could take into consideration when making their decision.
There are a myriad of positives that can come out of coming out. The obvious one is that you won’t have to hide your sexuality from society – once again, society should already be in a state in which you don’t have to hide your sexuality, but, it’s a nice little plus anyway. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that you are comfortable enough with yourself and comfortable enough with your surroundings to be open about being gay. This is especially true if you’ve hidden it, as I’m sure everyone can relate to how wonderful it feels to let go of a lie and to start living the truth.
You can also develop a strong sense of trust and bonding if you come out to people. For example, I remember telling one of my friends and she literally stated that she felt like I could trust her more. Which is true – letting people know that you’re gay can be seen as a milestone in a relationship, as it conveys the message that you believe they are compassionate enough to accept your sexuality in the first place.
On a slightly joking and slightly serious note, telling people that you’re gay could clear up some confusion regarding romantic relationships. Unlike me, with my plethora of fictional characters, I’m sure there are those who are gay who have received attention of the romantic nature from the opposite gender. Coming out would communicate to them that you aren’t interested, and it would let the gender that you are interested in know about your preferences.
Bringing it into the big picture, if every single person in the entire world who was gay was forced to be open about their sexuality, I think things may be a little easier. Perhaps tougher at first, as there would be a copious amount of conflict, but eventually easier because no one would be able to hide and everyone would have to fight for their rights. Thus, it would be harder to repress the sheer number of those refusing to be second class citizens. In an ideal world, no one would have to be repressed, but sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it when your safety is concerned – just try to break free from your chains and find a place that will grant you your safety.
I’ll end this post on a personal note. For me, my only concern when it came to coming out was my mom. Technically, she is still my concern – I am absolutely horrified by the thought of her knowing about my sexuality. However, I am completely comfortable with my sexuality. Even though I may face bullying or something like it when school starts again in September, I don’t really care what others think of me (haters gonna hate) and I have my close friends to back me up. They are indeed what caused me to come out, as I know that I have no need to worry, with them by my side.
Oh, and I may be interested in someone. But that is for another post… look, over to your left, a distraction!
Thoughts? Did I leave anything out? Any personal experiences about coming out or having friends or family coming out? I hope this post can help!