Having the bravery to reveal yourself as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is a cornerstone of the LGBT experience and essential to having a happy life as an adult, but making that announcement is only the beginning. The real work begins after those fateful words are out in the open.
We live in a cultural of categorization, whether by race, class, gender, sexuality, or even style or neighborhood, so it’s only natural that when coming out as LGBT people not familiar with our culture generally fall back on pre-conceived notions of what it means to be gay. There can be an extensive list of embarrassingly invasive questions about personal habits or misinterpretations of our culture, or perhaps a perfunctory response before you both go about your business. Handling coming out smoothly is a skill that takes some time and patience to develop, but the magic of coming out happens once things have returned to normal and people realize that you’re the same person you’ve always been.
Not only are you attracted to people of the same gender, but you fall in love with them. Not only may you go to Pride parades and enjoy the gay nigh life, but you have hopes and dreams and strengths and flaws. In short, you’re a human being, an L, G, B, or T human being.
That’s what opens minds and hearts more than anything else, and that’s why we founded Rainbow Roots. We wanted to create a safe space for people to share their stories, their histories, their legacies with the world and to unabashedly proclaim themselves as both LGBT and human. Once people know us, it becomes so much harder to hate us.
Happy National Coming Out Day, everybody.
The Rainbow Roots Team