Today is National Coming Out day. This is a picture of my husband and I at our local Pride Parade this summer wearing t-shirts that said “Free Mom Hugs” and “Free Dad Hugs”. But we are more than allies. We are a straight-passing, mixed orientation marriage. That means that, in my case, I am attracted primarily to women but in a marriage with a man, and staying there because after much consideration we have decided that it’s the right decision for us. We are also parents to two LGBTQ kids.
So, my thoughts on National Coming Out Day are many and various but here are a few:
It’s hard to own our stories – especially when we were told for so many years that they weren’t allowed or possible. But there is a freedom to be found in being honest that is worth the courage it will take.
It’s hard to share that story with others – especially when we aren’t sure how they will respond. And it’s hard to hear a new story about someone you love without feeling hurt. But it is worth risking the vulnerability of our stories with safe people – and it is worth being open to people’s vulnerable stories – because it gives us the chance to go deeper in relationship and get to know and be known as the real people we are.
If you need a safe person to be honest with today, please feel free to reach out to me – I would to offer that to you today or any day in the future. The pain and loneliness and fear and shame can be replaced by feelings of acceptance and support. You matter. Your unique story and personhood matters.
If someone reaches out to you today – your child, a partner, a close friend – and you want to be a safe space but you’re not show how – please reach out. It’s okay to be uncertain to begin with, but you don’t have to stay in that place. I’m more than happy to walk through the journey with you.
Here’s to continuing the journey of becoming more fully, more vibrantly, more authentically the people we were always made to be.