Coming out is both a personal milestone and a political act. It is not a one-time event, but a lifelong process. There is the first time you come out, often haltingly, to yourself. I’ve done that both as an adolescent and an adult. There are the intimate family comings out, and the big world-wide comings out. There are the awkward daily comings out (choosing pronouns to describe your partner, deciding whether to correct someone’s gendering of you).
And then there are the missed comings out. The family members who passed away, the friends from your youth you suspect would have had their own coming out to share, the bigot on the street you didn’t have the guts to say something to. Finally, there are the ones who choose never to come out – maybe not to themselves, or maybe just not to anyone else.
What I like most, though are the bonding sessions with other queer people over their coming out stories. Feel free to post yours in the comments. Happy Coming Out Day!
I posted this on Facebook this week and was completely blown away by the positive response.
My birthday is tomorrow–it’s also the day I go public in a big way. Tonight I was on the phone with my parents, when my dad made a perfect dad joke.
Dad: I told someone that tomorrow is my daughter’s last birthday.
Mom: Oh stop it. You should have said it’s your son’s first birthday.
You’re both right, Mom and Dad. I love you guys.
Three months! 1/4 of a year! I haven’t seen much change this month, other than my voice getting a notch deeper (and getting lots of questions about if I have a cold), and a few very faint chin hairs. But I’ve been focused more on life changes this month than physical changes. My official name change order came in the mail yesterday, so I am now legally Austin Elliot. I’ve been making arrangements to come out at work, and I’m also thinking about how to come out on Facebook in two weeks.
I’m shopping with my not-quite-three-and-a-half-year-old daughter on Mother’s Day when she makes a new friend. He is “five and a half” and full of questions. My daughter has started calling me daddy, and this Mother’s Day we only celebrated her mother (I almost wrote her “other mother”…which shows that I’m slow at adjusting, too). So half-way through the day, I don’t want to ruin it by doing anything to make this more confusing for her. But her new friend has a question.
Boy: Are you her mom?
Three people in my immediate workplace know I’m transitioning: my HR rep, my immediate supervisor, and one trusted colleague. So far I have only come out via one-on-one conversations. At work, I fear having too many individual conversations will simply get the rumor mill turning, which is not how I want people finding out. I don’t think transition is gossip-worthy, but I imagine many other people do. I want to manage the flow of information and maintain control of my own coming out.
My plan was:
Today is an important day. It’s pajama day at my daughter’s preschool. She wore her Batman pajamas. It’s also a day for me to showcase my special super power: invisibility.
Today is Transgender Day of Visibility. Small problem is that I am still slowly inching out of the closet. I woke up this morning wondering if today was a golden opportunity to come out widely and publicly on Facebook. Then my blood pressure went up and I felt light-headed.