“Embracing My Truth: Living in a World Guided by Love” on Coming Out Day
In this insightful blog post, our anonymous writer bravely shares her heartfelt journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance on Coming Out Day. Through her candid words, she sheds light on the challenges and triumphs of embracing one’s true self. Celebrate her courage in this inspiring narrative.
I’ll start off by sharing that I identify as a cisgender bisexual woman in a hetero-presenting relationship and I have never celebrated National Coming Out Day. At this moment, I still have not come out to my genetic family, but my chosen family of close friends, dear colleagues, and loving partner have helped me come out and live my truth.
As many people already know or should know: gender and sexuality have four main components: biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. As I learned more about the experiences of trans and nonbinary friends and peers, I realized that growing up, I never questioned my gender identity because I always felt that the sex assigned to me at birth – female – matched my gender identity as a woman. Living in a cisgender-normative society made me realize I did not face the difficulties of having a gender identity that did not match my biological sex assigned to me at birth, nor the gender binary that society has constructed as “the norm.” So, although I proudly identify as a cis-woman, I know that my cisgender privilege means I have to be a steadfast ally and unapologetic activist for trans and nonbinary rights because every day we are reminded how difficult and oftentimes dangerous it is for our trans and nonbinary friends and colleagues to live safely and authentically in their identities.
One thing I grappled with from a young age, however, was my romantic and physical attraction to different genders, otherwise known as sexual orientation. Growing up in a society that raised us all to believe that heterosexuality between a man and a woman is the only “correct” attraction, I always felt like something was a little “wrong” with me when I found myself not only attracted to men and masculine-presenting people, but also women, people whose gender expression is more feminine, and nonbinary folks. I didn’t have the language for all of this growing up, but it was always a part of me. It wasn’t something I learned or was influenced into believing, as some members of society may think, but it was something I hid for decades.
I have been in a heterosexual presenting relationship with my cis-male [partner], and it was always easy for me to hide my bisexuality, even from him, but mostly from myself. During the pandemic, however, I realized I could no longer hide my sexuality. The first step in coming out was coming out to myself. There were a lot of tears, which felt like the final release I needed before coming out to my chosen family. The first people I came out to were my queer friends — all of whose reactions were so warm and welcoming. In opening up to them, they helped me develop the language I needed in order to come out to my [partner] as well. When I finally did a few days later, he was also incredibly accepting and understanding. He obviously had some questions, but he affirmed me every step of the way. And that was the greatest joy: to finally be seen and loved in my wholeness, no longer hiding any piece of me.
As I said in the beginning, I still have not come out to my family, and it will probably stay that way for a long time as I protect my peace and mental health. For some people, coming out to family can be the best and most important step in their coming out journey. For others, it can be incredibly anxiety-inducing and detrimental to do so. If there’s anything I hope others take from my coming out journey, it’s that there is no one right way, right time, or right place to come out. And we must continue to fight every day to make our society a more welcoming and inclusive place for all where no one has to hide any part of themselves from their family, their friends, or anyone else, but most importantly from themselves. Shame is the shadow of love, and I’d much rather live in a world guided by love than one guided by shame.
Thank you for hearing my story and happy National Coming Out Day!
Your strongest advocate ❤️