NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY

10.11.18

Today is the 30th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day – an annual day of awareness started based on the belief that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance. It is a day of celebration and liberation; a day of personal and political action; a day to remind us that stories are a powerful force toward reaching equity under the law and that love is love is love is love.

 

If you are lucky enough to have someone come out to you, or to invite you in to that part of their life, there are a couple things to DO and a couple things to DON’T do to help make sure your loved one feels safe, supported, and celebrated.

 

DO share what an honor it is to be a trusted confidant and DO say thank you. DON’T co-opt their story with a story of your own about identity, sexuality or coming out. There’s plenty of time to tell your stories later. DO ask when and where it’s okay to share. Not everyone who is out to you will be out in all spaces and it’s never okay to out them to someone else before they are ready. DO tell them that you are curious to know more about this aspect of their life (if you are) and let them lead the conversation, but DON’T PRY! Nobody likes a Nosey Nancy and you don’t need to know the details of anyone’s sex life to support their right to equity under the law or their happiness. DO take it personally if someone comes out to all of your other friends or family members but not to you. Think about what you might be doing or saying that would make you seem untrustworthy or not a safe person to come out to, but DON’T pout and make it about you. For a lot of queer people, coming out is an ongoing process that has to be navigated throughout their entire lives, assessing the risk of coming out each time, and that can be exhausting. So, DO ask what you can do to be supportive and follow their directions. 

Happy National Coming Out Day to those who are ready. And to those who are not yet ready
I see you.
I support you.
You have value.
You deserve to happiness.

 

Inhale. Exhale. And begin.

Let's Talk.

Every October is Let’s Talk Month – a national public education campaign coordinated by Advocates for Youth dedicated to creating opportunities for parents to engage their children in conversations about sexuality. This October it feels like there have already been way too many opportunities for parents to talk to their kids about sexuality. And bodies, and consent, and sexual assault, and equality, and toxic masculinity (and, and, and).

I’m not sure that I believe everything I used to believe. The world seems to be getting smaller and bigger and more convenient and more confusing with every breath I take. But, there are a few things I know to be true:

1. Every parent is a sex educator, whether they like it or not.

2. Kids want sex education from the adults who take care of them.

3. They are listening.

4. It’s okay to admit to your kids that you feel awkward. It’s okay to admit when you don’t have an answer.

5. Bread and butter is a full meal, full stop.

6. #InhaleExhaleAndBegin makes (almost) anything doable.

7. Books! (check out the Resource page for my recommendations)

8. Not every challenge is a catastrophe.

9. Once you start talking, it gets easier. You get better. They ask harder questions and you will freak out all over again (see #8).

10. SexuallySmarter is sexually safer, so do the work. Talk to your kids.

Inhale. Exhale. And begin.