Today is National Coming Out Day, the day we encourage and celebrate our community coming out and living life out and proud. Since I wrote about my personal coming out story last year, I wanted to really take a different approach to this year's post:
Coming out is a constant part of life in our community.
While I may have "officially" come out years ago to myself and my loved ones, it has become increasingly apparent to me that coming out never stops. Ever. Every day I find little moments when I have to say or do something to let people know that I'm gay.
There are always moments as I go throughout my day when someone says something that I have to gently correct. From "so your wife sent you to do the grocery shopping..." to "are you two brothers?", there are numerous times I have to come out every day.
Sure, I could just ignore it and move on. But I don't want to- it feels like giving up or giving in to me.
There are, of course, times when I may have to temper my little "coming out's" because of personal safety- when you've been spit on for being gay or threatened, you tend to become more aware of your surroundings. Yet even then I can't seem to completely shake the need to let people know, on some level, that "yep, I'm gay."
It often surprises me that I have to come out at all. I mean, let's face it- I'm not exactly the most stereotypically masculine person. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Yet people still don't see it (or don't want to), which means I have to go through the whole process all over again. Every day.
To me, these little moments of coming out daily are victories. I'm saying that I am proud of who I am, who I love, and my life. And perhaps I am making a difference to those that I come out too- showing them that the members of the LGBT communities are just people too.
So while I celebrate today and enjoy hearing everyone's stories, I hope that we can all keep the celebration going, day in and day out, in our lives.