Coming out as queer has been simultaneously the most simple and challenging thing I have ever experienced in my adult life, and of course, the most revolutionary.
The challenges have been born mostly from a feeling—a deep and raw feeling that the idea of “coming out” is somewhat aggressive and alienating. As I sincerely do not believe I have anything to “come out” of, because in reality, more people could embrace coming in.
Now, let me backtrack and say that I am a 30-year-old cis woman who has considered herself straight and exclusively been involved in heteronormative relationships—including a very short *gasp* marriage—her whole life.
Though I have always been open about my attraction and adoration of women, and radically supportive of the LGBTQ+ communities (including my mother and her partner), for some reason I have never been able to commit myself fully to identifying as bisexual, queer, lesbian…or really, anything other than straight.
It’s been quite the conundrum, unpacking these facets of my identity. A true evolution of sorts. I’ve had to look at some of the darkest parts of myself and really acknowledge the ways they were not only existing in my day-to-day life, but how they have hindered so much of myself and my relationships because of it.
Looking at the painful reality of my own subconscious internal misogyny—that I never knew existed considering I have been and always will be a radical feminist—that has shown up as this shadowed idea that attractive women must be someone to fear or someone to be jealous of, rather than a person to love, desire, and adore.
All my fears included being different, being outcasted, or being considered “wrong.” As well as not feeling gay or queer enough to identify as such, and feeling as though because I have never truly explored this physically with another person, that my queerness is not as valid as others.
Yet ultimately, it all comes down to my own lifelong desire of being touched and ravished by a woman, and how I have never truly allowed myself that pleasure and love.
So then, coming back to this universal concept of “coming out,” in my case has been a really difficult pill to swallow. Now, before I begin, I acknowledge how this can be an empowering part of someone’s journey in owning their identity and sharing it with the world. I’m not trying to take that away from anyone. However, I have a strong inclination to say that I don’t feel I need to come out of anywhere. It makes it feel like I have been hiding.
The reality is, I haven’t been hiding, I’ve merely been brainwashed.
I have been brainwashed into believing that heternormatvity is the only real way of existing and relating, and anything other than heternormativity is considered abnormal. This is further perpetuated with the idea of “coming out” as when we “come out” we are acknowledging that we consider ourselves outside of societal norms. We are acknowledging that our sexuality and identity can not be constricted to the typical ideas that have been implanted into us since we were children.
So again, I will say, I don’t think I have anything to “come out” of, and I truly believe that others could benefit from coming in.
From coming into their identity and sexuality outside of societal norms that have been forced onto us since we were children, and programmed into our psyche as the “only way,” and then reinforced with the idea of coming out.
From coming into their authentic self, without this need to prove or acknowledge it to another person outside of whom they wish to share it with.
From coming in into their bodies, their desires, their will to exist without needing to tell the entire world and perhaps even trap themselves inside of another label or box, just in a different way.
I truly believe that we are all unique and different in the way we exist and relate with the rest of the world. I also sincerely believe that this is constantly evolving and transforming. We are always anew. One day we could want to have sex with a man and then next we could want to have sex with a woman and another we could want to have sex with both at the same time, and I don’t feel like we need to explain ourselves for any of it.
It’s just another way to shame and blame people using the societal demands and restrictions we all feel around sex and relating, and it’s just another way to trap people and make themselves feel less than worthy for existing as they wish.
I genuinely not only believe but sincerely acknowledge, that queerness is the norm.
We should be able to recognize gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer people and relationships the same way we do heterosexual and cis ones. The mother’s son should be able to come home with his new boyfriend and not have it be any different than him bringing home a new girlfriend. Or the nonbinary friend.
The person who used to dress feminine who now dresses more masculine should be acknowledged in their decision to do so without question or projection. The person who changes their name to fit their chosen identity should never be questioned or shamed—they should be loved and supported in their bravery and authenticity. All of these people are the ones who show us how to be the rawest, most real, most…us.
They are saving our collective every step of the way, and we are hurting and killing them senselessly.
As much as I acknowledge this is a lot of programming to unpack, I also recognize that this is not optional. It is imperative and necessary that we begin this process as a collective—to unpack the societal shame and programming around sex and identity that we all experience—for the safety and liberation of all of our people.
Deep down, I honestly believe we are all queer. We are just placed at different areas of the spectrum. The binary does not exist—we have only created it to exist. It is hurting and trapping people in ways that are so detrimental and cruel, not only to those who identity as LGBTQ+, but also to the people who don’t. The people who are deathly afraid of queerness that they dedicate their lives to eradicating it, only to eventually realize that they cannot eradicate what is inherent within themselves.
I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all of the radical, beautiful, insanely authentic queer activists and people that came before me, and it is for them that I dedicate this piece.
We’re here and we’re queer, and we’re not coming out.
But we invite you to come in.