|The National Coming Out Day on Facebook
Today is the National Coming Out Day and I decided to blog about it to show my support.
I can't even begin to imagine the fears going through the minds of closeted people. Coming is often easier said than done. Some people grow up in closed-minded communities. There's fear of rejection from families, friends, school mates, work buddies, church, fellow hobby people, and the whole community. Coming out in one country can be easier than coming out in another. Coming out in an area of a city can be more difficult than coming out in another area of the same city. There are so many factors to consider for people who are considering coming out. What they all have in common though is the fear of being discovered and the fear of being rejected. Many even hate themselves for being who they are. Many just want to die.
It's easy to say just forget about everything and come out! You'll feel so much better! True, some people do feel better after coming out, but there are others who lose their whole support network.
Am I saying stay in the closet? No, I'm saying come out in your own time, when you're ready. Try to remember that things will get better and easier in the future. Someday being LGBT will be considered as natural as being black or white. Remember that those who discriminate and try to stop the progress of LGBT rights are living on the wrong side of history. Just hang in there :) If all else fails and you're old enough, move to a gay-friendly city and find a new life along with new friends. Hey, if you came out and everything is falling apart around you, you have nothing to lose, right?
But wait, I can being to imagine what it's like. I do know a little bit about being in the closet. I write m/m books and although I don't expect to be shunned for it, I don't always say what exactly it is that I write. Why? Because I write erotic romance, and when people hear gay literature, they immediately jump to erotica (it's just how thing are right now, if people hear "GLBT" most will think "sex"). I'm a shy person by nature. I always have been. People assume I'm a little goodie-goodie who would never even have erotic thoughts! However, it's been 10 months since I published my first m/m and I have started to tell people little by little. One person here, one person there. I have never, ever gotten a negative reaction. I don't know if it's the fact that people are just generally interested that I'm writing stories and publishing in the USA or if they're just okay with m/m. Many ask "why" and I answer "because it interests me". Those who are closest to me know what I write. People who I meet and ask me about what I do get to hear that I write books. I leave it at that unless they ask more (and then I say, directly translated: I write romance stories about two men).
I've been wondering if I should announce it on my personal facebook timeline, but I've been holding back because my sons will start school next year and we live in a small town. I can just hear the other kids make fun of them for what I write. If I were living in the city I would have no qualms about announcing my career - even to the people who live in this small town (a town I grew up in). The city gives a certain anonymity and not everyone knows who you are and it's unlikely that the kids at school would ever hear about what I write. That's not the case in my small town. So I'm staying in the closet with one foot out for now. Maybe next year I'll decided to to announce it, but I feel that now is not the time.