Many people have a misperception about coming out that it is a one time, dramatic, grand event...I imagine like jumping out of a cake. However, that could not be further from the truth for most, if not all, of us. The fact of the matter is that, much like most things in life, it is different for every one of us. While some people have vivid memories of being aware - and maybe even declaring - their identity as a young child, others discover and/or acknowledge their identity outside of the heteronormative binary much later in life. In fact, some of you reading this post may find that some time in the future, you no longer identify the same way that you do, today. We are evolving beings and life is fluid. I was straight until I wasn't, and then I was completely unsure until I wasn't, and then I was a lesbian until I wasn't, and then, although I really don't care for labels at all, when necessary (is it ever, really?) I use the word Queer to define my identity. This sometimes confuses people. They don't always understand what it means and often are under the impression that it's a nasty word. To which I affirm that it certainly can be when used with hurtful intention. For me, queer means that my sexual identity transcends the binary of attraction to men or women. That my love and connection with someone is not dependent upon what's in their pants. The irony of this is that eight years ago, I, myself, couldn't say the word queer without feeling very uncomfortable because of my own impressions about the word. Today is #NationalComingOutDay and I'm coming out again because things change, because shining the light of our authentic selves shines light into the world and makes it a more beautiful, more accepting, and safer place for others to shine their light, when they are ready.
Jennifer Miracle-Best is an author and speaker whose Calling is to help victims of spiritual violence find healing.