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ComingOut

I'm Bored With Coming Out and It's Wonderful

I'm Bored With Coming Out and It's Wonderful

I'm Bored With Coming Out and It's Wonderful

You never stop coming out, but you might stop caring.

Before I came out to my mom, I practiced variations of what I would say in my head hundreds of times — and that was with the knowledge that she’d be accepting. I eventually told her on the phone that I had a date with a girl from school, and she told me to have fun and tell her how it went. Then we kept talking about my classes and her job, and how my grandma was doing, and whether I had a winter coat. I know not every first time coming out story is this wonderfully boring, but I’m glad that in ten years I probably won’t remember how I came out to her at all.

I can’t count how many times I’ve come out since. I’ve come out to more family members, friends, classmates, coworkers, and bosses. I don’t know when coming out became as easy as talking about the movie I saw over the weekend, or asking what the weather was supposed to be tomorrow, but at some point it did.

I am mostly ok with writing about myself, but I’m usually a private person. I don’t like participating in public displays of affection (and it’s not a fear thing — no matter what gender I’m with). I’m not a good friend to tell about your date last night because I always wonder if your date knows how much of your dinner conversation you planned to share with me. If I want to sort out my feelings, I write in my diary.

 

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When a stranger talks to me on an airplane, I put in my headphones. But when I started coming out, I felt like I had to tell the whole world. I was the coming out equivalent of a brand new vegan at a barbecue; anyone within a few yards knew I was queer in ten seconds or less. Maybe it was all the practice that made coming out so boring.

After several awkward barbecues, I realized every person I talked to for more than a minute probably didn’t need to know my sexual orientation. More importantly, I didn’t need them to know. I wasn’t a one-woman Pride parade. I didn’t have to represent queer women while I was working on a class project or ordering a coffee. So I scaled back. I started telling the people it made sense to tell; people who told me about their lives and wanted to know more about mine.

In some ways, that was scarier. I cared too much about what they thought. Until I didn’t. I met enough people that saw my sexual orientation as a non-issue. I met enough people who said, "Oh, me too!" I don’t care about how people react because if they react poorly, I don’t need them in my life.

There’s this idea that we never stop coming out — that it’s just a lifelong process, and there’s always someone new, we’ll have to tell. But for me, it just doesn’t feel like coming out anymore. It feels like sharing my life with people. It feels like making new friends. It feels like existing. 

Featured image: Unsplash

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