Why I’m okay with coming out of the closet over and over

Guest post by Heather Sexton
Why I'm becoming okay with always coming out of the closet
“Hooray, I’m Gay” Coming Out Card Kit with Confetti from Letters By Bonnie

Coming out is not something that happens once and it’s over.

Coming out is something that happens every time I talk about my wife, or get asked about “my husband” when they see the ring on my finger. Nope, sorry, no husband here.

Coming out is just a part of my life. Maybe if I walked around with a rainbow flag I wouldn’t have to, but I keep it tucked away until PRIDE, so I just know coming out is something I have to do.

As you may recall from past blog posts, the first time I came out was with a bang. Coming out at work was gradual and less dramatic. The anxiety accompanied with the initial big reveal has faded. Nevertheless, I continue to experience coming out over and over again.

I say all of this because, yet again, I was in a situation over the weekend where I had to come out… again. I participated in an event for my graduate degree on campus, which is back in Kentucky. As soon as I found out I had to go and participate in a personal growth group, my nerves went bonkers. Those very nerves made this typically extrovert girl bury herself in her invisible turtle shell. Why? I dreaded having to come out to my group of cohorts. I was just scared. Scared what would be said. Scared how I would be looked at. Scared for the judgement. I put up my armor. Let me tell you, If you’ve never worn armor, it’s fucking exhausting. But, I could have not said a word. I could have kept my armor up and kept my private life private but I feel like that’s wrong. Hiding the fact that I have a wife feels wrong. So, I made the choice — I came out.

How’d it go? Fine. The build up was worse in my mind of course. There were questions which makes me happy. There was a little judgement but there is always judgement of some sort — that’s human nature, I suppose. But for the most part it went well. I always feel that when I come out, someone learns something new. Stereotypes are hopefully challenged and maybe someone who hears my story gets something positive out of it.

The first question I got: how did my kids handle it?

Usually that’s the first question. I don’t know why that is — maybe it’s a religious thing. I don’t know if people assume there is perversion and madness or if it’s just an honest-to-goodness curiosity. No matter the reason, I always answer that my boys are happy.

The unknown is where people have the ability to create assumptions in their mind. Just like any divorce or ending of a relationship that involve kids, there is an adjustment. There was no more of an adjustment for my kids than if I would have introduced them to a guy instead of a girl. They have no biases. They had always been told love looks different for everyone. They saw their mother happy and they were satisfied. Our family is like any other. We love, we lose patience, we laugh, we do normal things. We are so very normal.

So I will continue to come out. I will continue to answer that question and any other over and over again and I will hope that somewhere I am positively affecting change. I hope at some point I won’t have to come out and it will be completely normal. I hope assumptions will exist less and less.

Until then, it’s well worth the nerves and coming out over and over again to hopefully alleviate biases.

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