My favorite thing about myself is that I am Queer.
*That’s partly a joke, and partly not.
21 years is how long it took to make that declaration, even though I knew much earlier on in life than that, but I was filled with fear and a lot of self hatred.
You may be thinking “yeah, yeah we know..”…so what is the point of this post? Today is National Coming Out Day – which is celebrated every October 11 since the history of its first occurrence which dates back to 1988.
October is also LGBTQ+ history month, and you might be thinking…wait? I thought that was in June? Nope. June is Pride month. *I’ll share resources at the bottom for those that are interested.
Sometimes I forget how far we still have to go, because often I am surrounded by folks that are accepting and wanting to learn how to be better allies. Then I get smacked in the face with hearing stories of hatred that my friends, kids I know, and my own experiences that happen on the daily. How quickly I get snapped back into reality.
My mere existence, as well as other folks within the LGBTQ+ community, to some is considered to be political. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how who I am as a human being, who I love, and how I am can be mixed in with politics.
When will we admit that we use our judgements, our prejudices, our ignorance, and ultimately our fear for the unknown and bundle that up to call it “political views”. Political views are for election day, not an excuse of judgement against the identities of others. It is then that we cross the line into hatred without being aware of the hate we are spreading. (In saying all of that it is important to note: As a white Queer who has faced hard times for being Queer, that I still have privilege as a white person and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Queer folks have an even harder time existing in this world.)
Most of us long for a time when “coming out” is no longer necessary – as I am sure our Queer elders dreamed of as they paved the way before us …and younger generations as they become the leaders in reinventing what existing in this world will be like as they continue to grow older.
I want to jump back to what I said in the beginning. I love being Queer, it did take me awhile to get to where I am now as I begin the journey of my early 30s.
Every individual has a different experience and journey when it comes to “coming out” and/or “disclosing”. Some folks know and are out very early in life, some not until later in life, and some never feel comfortable or safe enough to be able to.
So, this isn’t just a hug to my fellow Queers. This is a call-in to my allies.
I know the importance of being surrounded by positive influences that give reassurance that it is okay to be who you are. Reminding folks that living their truth to who they are is the greatest gift and would save a lot of Queerbies (baby Queers) years of having to unpack any shame.
Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is like belonging to a group of long lost family members we have yet to meet. Chosen family is a word that I hold close to my chest for the Queer friends that I have in my life. I am grateful to those that have paved the way for me and those that will make greater change when it comes time for me to take a bow.
There are many other things I adore about myself, which is why I said my favorite part about myself is that I am Queer was partly a joke. Ultimately it is the truth, because I am proud and I am appreciative of the journey I weathered to get to be outwardly proud of who I am as a Queer person.
Take pride in who you are, because there is no else out there like you. Whether you are out and proud or still working on it. Either way, you belong to that long lost family of LGBTQ+ folks you have yet to meet and you are loved just the same.
And if ever in doubt…dance it out
*Some* resources for further reading:
LGBTQ+ History Month:
LGBTQ+ Pride Month:
National Coming Out Day: