i get a lot of messages about coming out. specifically, some of you cats seem really concerned about coming out the “right” way in order to scare away as few people as possible. (this isn’t going to be a reprimand or anything; i’m just gonna address all of you at once.). i get why you might think it’s vitally important to come out a certain way, but shit doesn’t work like that, imo.
like some of you, i’ve spent a fuck-ton of time beating my ass for not coming out better. i used to think if only i’d come out more politely, more coherently, more gracefully, more (insert adverb), maybe my partner’s family wouldn’t have responded to my coming out by ostracizing my partner and i. if only i’d been a better trans* person, maybe they would’ve responded with acceptance and support.
but i’m calling shenanigans on that shit.
coming out never goes well. it’s never perfect. doing it “right” won’t magically make the people you come out to discover how un-asshole-like they really are. if they’re assholes, there’s nothing you can say that’ll transform them into respectful, supportive people. if they’re not assholes, the most awkward/tense/incoherent coming-out in the whole fucking world isn’t going to transform them into assholes.
so chill, if you can. if you can’t chill, that’s ok. coming out can be really hard even when you figure it’s technically safe to do so; don’t be surprised if you can’t be laid back about it.
but also don’t be surprised when your well-rehearsed coming out speech comes out all fucked up. most folks are nervous or plain scared when they come out; no wonder so few of us manage to utter exactly the words we’ve planned on.
and we have a lot to be nervous/scared about. there’s a lot of stigma attached to being queer (i’m including transness in queerness), especially for those of us who face multiple oppressions. so if your guts get all twisted up every time you come out, even after you’ve come out multiple times, that’s fucking fine. really.
anyone who rejects you as a trans*/asexual/bisexual/fabulous person cuz you were nervous and/or awkward when you came out is a fucking asshole. it’s not your job to come out gracefully, tactfully, and coherently while doing ballet and reciting shakespeare. just coming out is enough.
actually, since many people don’t have the luxury of coming out, just existing is enough. coming out is a fucking radical act all on it’s own, no pyrotechnics (ex. being coherent and polite) required. even living in this world as an oppressed person is radical; you’re already doing your bit.
k? i get that feels are complicated and you can’t just force yourself to stop obsessing over your past /future coming out experiences, but just know that you deserve respect (and cupcakes!) no matter how (or if) you come out. you are fucking awesome: awkwardness, nervousness, incoherence and all.
* * *
feel free to share coming out stories, not-coming out stories, feelings around coming out, etc. please don’t talk about coming out as inevitable or necessary, though, cuz some people don’t want to come out (or can’t); please be mindful of that. thanks!
also, zillions of thanks to south carolina boy for helping me stop blaming myself when the people i come out to reject me. <33333333 cuz you wrote something in a comment or an email (this was months ago) and the meaning behind it just lies along my bones and radiates awesome. yay!