National Coming Out Day: It’s OK to Be You Whether You’re Out or Not
October 11, 2018
After I first came out two years ago, I thought I was over and done with it. I came out as bisexual to my friends and family (and received some unfortunate but “typical” responses like, “Which boy broke your heart and made you this way?”) and moved on. I didn’t think too much about it until recently while learning more about National Coming Out Day. Researching the day brought up old memories and inspired me to further examine my sexual identity, making me rethink what coming out really is and whether a person can have multiple coming out occurrences.
To backtrack a bit: October 11th is National Coming Out Day, an annual LGBTQ day of awareness intended to combat homophobia. Importantly, this year marks the 30th anniversary. Originally meant to provide visibility and a voice for gay and lesbian individuals, it has over time expanded to include a range of LGBTQ people. Progress has been made, but there is still plenty to be done. Heck, Eminem still raps with homophobic slurs. Coming Out Day reminds us that coming out still matters.
Personally, I’m lucky that coming out never seemed too scary. Being bisexual made sense to me; for example, I’m attracted to both Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky from Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Before coming out, I spent months making sure I’d found the right label that fit my orientation best and would be the least confusing to explain to my parents. So when I started questioning more recently if the identity truly fits me, I felt lost for the first time. I’ve been thinking that pansexuality (being physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to a range of orientations, including people who do not fit into the gender binary) applies more to me. After all, I’ve always been attracted to personality first and foremost. But does this mean I have to come out again to everyone who already knew I was bisexual? Not necessarily.
It’s OK to question after coming out. After time, experience and self-realization, you might figure out that another word fits your orientation better. You can always casually update people or have an intimate conversation similar to some first coming-out experiences. It’s also important to mention that you’re not required to come out on National Coming Out Day or any day for that matter. It’s a choice that’s made based on comfort and safety. Coming out is a privilege; for some, it can be dangerous. Even if you’re in a position where you can’t or choose not to come out, know that National Coming Out Day celebrates that it’s OK to be who you are.
Posted In: LGBTQ