Coming Out Day

Coming out is the best thing you will ever do.

  • Not the easiest
  • Not the safest
  • Not the simplest

But it is the best thing you can do

For your own mental health.

  • Living inauthentically is exhausting, debilitating, and drains your sense of self worth.
  • Coming out lifts an immense weight off your back.

For your friends and family, who probably know or suspect anyway.

  • It’s painful to have to listen to you lie and put yourself down.
  • It suggests a lack of honesty and integrity.
  • It diminishes their respect for you.
  • You will ease the burden for the next closeted family member.

For your colleagues at work, or on your team. See ‘family’ above.

For everyone other LGBTI person yet to come.

The ONLY thing that has allowed us to progress towards equality and acceptance is this: it’s easy to hate what you don’t know. The hatred and fear of LGBTI does not survive genuine contact with the genuine article. Mostly.

  • Yes, there may be some backlash
  • Yes, you may lose some friends and family members
  • Yes, you may lose your job
  • You will make better ones. Ones who know you as you really are

Don’t think it’s one single event. Coming out commits you to the continual process of challenging the assumption that you’re straight. Every time.

  • At the doctors
  • At the shops
  • At work
  • At family gatherings
  • Everywhere

Please don’t duck the responsibility, thinking you will have an easier life. You won’t. And nor will lots of other people that your coming out could help. I’m not going to tell you it’s easy, or fair, but if you’re LGBTI in the current world, i firmly believe that obligation lies on you, whether you want it or not.

The door is over there. See you out and about!

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years.

“Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe.” (Daniel Witthaus, “Beyond Priscilla”, Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)