Waymon Hudson

National Coming Out Day: An Every Day Celebration

Filed By Waymon Hudson | October 11, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement
Tags: National Coming Out Day

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.

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Well, all I have to say is welcome to my world.

As a semi-passable transwoman, I find myself also facing almost daily moments where I have to come out, either as trans, or as lesbian. People see a middle aged woman and automatically make certain assumptions. Even though I wear no rings, I am assumed to have a husband somewhere around. Since my voice does not always 'pass muster', I will sometimes get that "look". All trannys know it, the look that says, you are being clocked, but they are not really sure.

Since one of the promises I made to myself after surgery was that, I will Never hide who and what I am, I will let them know that, yes indeed, I am one of Those.

(Of course, like you I have learned the art of discretion concerning these moments. Being out and proud is all well and good, but being dead, well that kind of puts the end to that, now doesn't it?)

For me, like you, coming out is an ongoing process, driven by the new people I meet in my life. I spent too damn many years of my life, living a lie. I am not going back to living that way again.

Well said, Diddly.

I can't imagine living back in the closet again- I spent too much time in my life working to be out and proud. I don't ever want to go back.

The closet is for clothes, and the occasional skeleton if you are running a haunted house or something, not people.

I actually don't have many moments where people imply that I'm straight. Maybe that's because I haven't hit an age yet where people assume that I'm married, or that I spent the past few months making out with a guy all over the city.

But I do remember one of my kids, on my last day of work in Lorient, France, who really, really wanted to know if I was married. It's really too cute when a 10-year-old asks!

Great post. It's hard for me to believe that it's been ten years since I came out :)

It's a shame that Sarah Palin didn't recognize National Coming Out Day in Alaska today. Frustrating, given her "tolerant" comments during the VP Debate.