“I am brave, I am bruised. I am who I’m meant to be, this is me”
– “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”
A couple nights ago I attended the “Coming Out Monologues” in Portland with my good friend Dylan (pictured on the right). We listened to stories of those who are gay, lesbian, and trans as they vulnerably shared their journey of coming out. We heard from parents who shared stories of love for their child who came out to them. One parent shared the story of her trans daughter who knew about her gender identity when she was 2 ½ years old. She then invited her courageous now 12-year-old daughter up to share her own story of transition and coming out while being a pre-teen. Throughout the evening there were many moments of laughter, tears, hope, and real-world realities brought to light.
Today is a day of mixed emotions for many. We celebrate our coming out stories. We remember the pain of the journey it took to get to that point and the pain that has happened since. With stomach in knots, tears flowing, fear suffocating, and a new sense of freedom, many choose to come out on this day. While others wonder if one day, they too will be able to fully live as themselves among their family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and strangers in society. Meanwhile there are those who just aren’t sure and are still trying to figure out what their orientation and/or identity is. That’s okay. Questioning is okay. Experimenting is okay. Studying the varied expressions of orientation and/or identities to see if one is right for you is okay. YOU are okay. Figure it out in your time, no one else’s. Maybe your experience doesn’t resonate with what I’ve mentioned here. Maybe you feel who you are is no one else’s business. No matter how you choose to come out or when or if you do, know that you are loved. You are respected. By me, and by many kickass amazing people that I know!