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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Coming Out

Well, I did it. I threw open the closet door and am now dealing with the fallout. (For the two readers who don't also follow me on facebook....I'm gay. There, you are all caught up!)

And trust me, there is a lot of fallout involved.

So why did I do it? I didn't have to go public. I didn't have to tell my whole world, which mostly consists of varying degrees of conservative Christians, that I'm gay. I could have stayed quiet, kept only those close and supportive in the loop.

Announcing it was a choice, and it was a very deliberate choice.

The first reason was because I have lived a lifetime hiding, sometimes even from myself. I'm done. I have no desire to keep quiet about a very important part of my life. I have no desire to hide who I am. I am proud. Never thought I would say that, but I am. I have probably watched this video a dozen times in the past few weeks, and there are a bunch of parts that really resonate within me. But the main thing is this: "No matter what your walls are made of, a closet is no place for a person to live."

Watch it. Trust me.

And within that reason is another. I wanted people to love me for who I really am. I didn't want to sit and wonder...would that person still be nice to me if she knew the truth about me? Would this person still be my friend? We all want to be loved and to be liked, it is only natural. I don't just want my mask to be loved. And now that I am out, I realize that I also don't want to be liked in spite of being gay. There have been those who have revealed that this is clearly repulsive to them, but hey they still "love" me. Sorry, that just isn't enough for me anymore. Love me, love all of me.

Maybe the hardest reason to verbalize is the fact that I also came out because I wanted people to understand that what they say matters. As a kid, the word "gay" was synonymous with "disgusting", "unnatural", "sinful", "abomination", and "repulsive". I heard it from the living room couch and the church pulpit and the desks in my classroom. As a scared teenage girl, I just wanted to be loved and I never wanted my friends and family to use those words to describe me. And so I repressed as much as humanly possible. I slid into a life of trying to please, a life full of depression and self hatred. What you say has an effect on the people around you, and you may not even realize who you are talking to. You may not realize when you use a gay slur around your buddies that you are driving a knife into one of their hearts. You may not realize that your evident disgust over a couple holding hands makes your friend terrified to be honest with you. These things matter, your words matter.

Two days ago, I got the words "I am significant" tattooed onto my arm. I got it as a reminder, not only of this moment in my life, but as reminder that I don't want to go back, even when it is bound to seem easier. Because it is easier, in some ways, to live a lie. It is easier to make people I love happy, to be able to see respect and admiration in their eyes. Being honest comes at a price. But the price of life as I have lived it has been sacrificing my feelings of self worth. I have felt small and scared and disposable for most of my life. For the first time I feel strong and significant and happy with who I am as a person. Again....a closet is no place for a person to live.

In the midst of all of this, my kids have been a bright light. They don't know what it means to be a heterosexual versus a homosexual. They don't care. They love me, all of me, fully and completely and wonderfully. I am their Mama. They are the definition of acceptance, of every kind of person. They could care less what the color of your skin is, what you worship, or who you kiss. The world has so much to learn from them. In the end...I have no regrets, because life has brought me them. Life has brought me here. And here is not a bad place to be.


18 comments:

  1. Doll, no matter who or how you are, people love YOU. You ARE significant.

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    1. Thank you! Means a lot to me, more than you know.

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  2. Well done and well said. :-) set up a Facebook page for this blog girl. There is some good stuff on here.

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    1. Thank you! I finally have set up a facebook page today. I know nothing of these things. I just come on here, write some stuff, and send it out into the world.

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  3. I have read a lot of different coming out stories in the past 40 years. I have never read such honest, resonate words. Thank you for the gift these words contain. You are significant in so many ways, the least of which is is your sexuality. The need to be honest, the need to speak your truth - not everyone gets that. But you just gave yourself, and your children, the greatest gift of their lives - permission to be who they are, and not just BE, but be PROUD and LOVE themselves, which gives them the ability to LOVE OTHERS. Pretty much Jesus' only point. You're awesome Sabrina. And I haven't even met you in person. Which speaks to how awesome you are. Be strong my friend. Be strong and remember, the haters will hate. But you get to sleep at night, fully known and fully loved. That's pretty significant.

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    1. "Thank you" feels inadequate. You have been a source of so much love and support for me over the past few weeks. You are absolutely awesome, I am happy to call you a friend. Hoping we can meet soon!

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    1. Thank you! You're not too shabby either ;)

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  5. Love the tattoo... glad you can be all of who you are, in the all of the places you go. My best to you-

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    1. Thank you! It really is a wonderful thing, to be free to be yourself.

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  6. You know what? I am a Christian. Here's my take. Before you came out, you were what? A person! Before any of us are anything, whether it is our faith, sexuality, etc., we all start out as PEOPLE!!! Keep writing, keep sharing...the world needs what you have to offer!

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    1. Exactly, we are all people and God loves all people! Thank you for your kind words. I promise to keep on keepin on.

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  7. Amazing. You ARE significant, and with this post, you remind me that I am significant too. When I came out as an alcoholic, it too was a deliberate choice. Though our truths are different, I can fully understand your need to be honest with who you are, knowing that the people who stand beside you choose to do so because they love and respect and honor ALL of you, not just the parts that don't make them uncomfortable. Keep sharing. I'm new to your blog, but I plan to stick around. =)

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    1. So glad you got the message for yourself. You are significant, we all are. I applaud you for making the choice to "come out" of your own closet. Isn't it amazing to find how many people fully love you? Thanks for stopping in, glad to have a new reader :)

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  8. I love this tattoo. Have been considering a word tattoo for myself - just trying to figure out the right words.

    Congrats on the changes you are making. They will be for the best, despite the pain it may take getting there.

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  9. Incredible! I am so happy for you. Stuff is going to be hard- but for once its going to be real. Not masked in what you wish you were. I think that we figure out who we truly are not when things are going great, but when we're backed into a corner. You ARE significant and made of so much. If you just want someone to listen, want to grab coffee, want to know you have a friend- you can call upon me. PS- great tattoo

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  10. So, I was perusing the interwebs to find out if my alma mater (NNU) has formed an LGBT alliance and support group (they haven't) and to see if they still forbid homosexual relationships in their handbook (they do) and I found the facebook page for Trevecca's group and I found your post.

    You pretty much just told my story. Without the last paragraph. Thank you! I'm happy you came out and I don't even know you! The more of us that do, the faster I think the world will change. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Tabby! Feel free to friend me. I've enjoyed connecting with some TNU alumni that really gets what I'm going through. And you are right, the more of us that come out, the better. We should all tell our stories, because they are important stories to tell.

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