Archives for posts with tag: coming out

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day, and public figures, private citizens, writers, and bloggers across the country shared stories in honor of their coming out as LGBTQ. It would be impossible to list all of the inspiring posts that appeared yesterday, but we’d like to share a few of the best with you.

A smart, thoughtful, and compelling post from fellow WordPress blogger Eli Aaron on the complexity of coming out as gay and trans*/gender non-conforming: Coming Out Complicated

From Stef at Autostraddle (the second-largest lesbian online community in the world), “Coming Out as an Amorphous Weirdo” details what the author went through emotionally when she came to terms with her sexuality and made the decision to come out as queer to her family in her twenties.

The Coming Out Journal compiled and posted pages and pages of reader-submitted stories about their experiences coming out. The range of emotion one feels reading these stories from everyday people is truly astounding.

The editorial staff at the National Poetry Foundation compiled this well-curated list of queer love poems from across history in honor of National Coming Out Day. (NHPJ’s resident poetry nerd suggests checking out the Marilyn Hacker, D.A. Powell, Frank O’Hara, and Aphra Behn poems in particular.)

Huffington Post’s Gay Voices section featured two particularly powerful essays from prominent African American activists: “Coming Out in Two Acts: One Man’s Story of Family, Love, and Living Authentically” by Michael J. Brewer, and “Coming Out: Is It All About You” by Wade Davis, Jr. HuffPo also included a great piece on being out in the workplace by Andres T. Taipa.

And, though it was published in April, Longform’s Guide to Coming Out includes some amazing reads.

Did you read anything amazing yesterday? Share your links in the comments; we’d love to hear what else is out there.

 

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I previously blogged about how people seem to be coming out younger and younger but there are many people who still don’t come out until they are older.  Everyone goes through times of self discovery and self understanding, and these times occur at all different intervals in someone’s lifespan.  This can be related to gender, gender expression, as well as sexuality and sexual expression.  The term questioning, like queer, is another kind of umbrella term except it relates to an individual’s self discovery.  People who are questioning their sexuality deserve as much respect as any other member of the community but oftentimes they can be targeted negatively by people.  They can be seen as people who can’t make up their mind or if they are young they are seen as looking for attention or following some kind of trend.  That is how I was looked at when I first started openly questioning my sexuality.  My family thought it was part of my rebellious stage and that I was trying to get attention in school.  Self expression comes in many different forms whether it relates to our sexual expression, gender expression, or creative expression.  Just because an individual goes through a stage where they question themselves doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously or their choice to change how they express themselves.

             Much of our individual life has been socially constructed through media and government, including the ways in which we express ourselves.  It’s socially acceptable to go through periods of self discovery but oftentimes this experience is taken away from those who choose to move away from the mainstream ideals and question their gender identity or their sexual identity.  For example, it is much more accepted for someone to go through religious questioning and experimentation than for an individual to choose to start exploring their gender by dressing in clothes that their gender doesn’t “typically” wear.  In fact, people can be removed from their housing or fired for their gender identity or expression.  People who are questioning deserve and often need the most support.  It isn’t someone’s job to pressure a questioning individual to come out but it is important for people to have someone to talk to, or to guide them when needed.  As members of the LGBTQ community, we often can relate to those who are questioning or beginning the coming out process and can be a lot of help without even realizing it.  People need to be encouraged to question their identities because so many people don’t realize how socially constructed our lives really are, so don’t be afraid to question what you’ve always been told!

Be sure to check out our website to look over some of our books as well as t-shirts that support individuals who are questioning!

http://www.nohoprideandjoy.com/

Young people are coming out sooner and sooner each year due to the change in atmosphere surrounding the LGBTQ community.  Although it has become easier to come out at a young age, that level of self discovery is still very difficult for many teenagers.  The level of safety a young person faces also varies depending upon where he/she lives in the U.S.  What feels like nothing to one student could be really dangerous for another depending upon his/her location and community. There have been legislative steps taken to ensure that students are now safe to express themselves in any way they want.  Anti-bullying legislation varies state by state in strength and influence but regardless its existence does make a difference.

There are also many different resources for students that in the past didn’t exist.  There are programs implemented in schools like GSAs (Gay Straight Alliances) or Diversity Clubs where students can find guidance and a sense of community during the coming out process.  The internet is also full of valuable resources like websites that can connect students to helpful literature or programs in their area.  Northampton’s Pride and Joy is full of literature and gifts that are great resources for questioning and coming out youth as well as their families.

http://youtu.be/UQ44G9s76C8

I came out when I was in the eighth grade and even though I grew up in Massachusetts in a fairly liberal town on Cape Cod it wasn’t an easy experience.  It involves a lot of self discovery and evaluation that is difficult to comprehend at such a young age.  Through most of my eighth grade year I was bullied pretty relentlessly because I was different and it was really difficult but once I got through that awkward junior high time period, everything looked up.  Once I became comfortable with myself, other people became comfortable with me.  Sometimes it can be difficult to find confidence within yourself when you barely know yourself but if you can find something that you’re passionate about then it will shine through and most of your differences will be forgotten.  No one should feel pressured to come out before they are ready but the more people willing to be themselves and take a stand for being different, the more positivity will surround the issue.  As our shirt says, “When in doubt, Come out!”

http://www.nohoprideandjoy.com/