Okay, so you are contemplating coming out…or you have already come out to a few close friends… What is preventing you from taking the next step? What are you afraid of?
For me (and probably for most people) it was the fear of rejection.
I remember a conversation my mum and I once had in the car before I came out. She said that she doesn’t think being gay is a choice, because who in their right mind would choose to be disgraced by and shunted from society. That was such an “Aw, I love you mum” moment, but I couldn’t say it since I was still in the closet. To this day, this is still one of my main arguments when people tell me being gay is a choice.
Suppose being rejected is your biggest fear… Let’s start with and look at the bigger picture. Will it make a significant difference to the world (all 7.3 billion of us [as of July 2015]) if you came out? Not significantly, no. Would it make a difference to your continent? Not really, no. Will it make a difference to your country? Er, no. To your province or state? Nope. To your town or city? Well, depends how big the town is… City, no. Suburb? Maybe, depending on how many people you know in your suburb. Now it begins to come a bit closer to your skin. Would it really matter to your community? Well, maybe to the ones you choose to tell. Good point! To your friends? Same answer, depends on the individuals, or the specific circle. Now, let me ask you this, why only choose to tell some friends? Maybe, because you know how some would react, and maybe because you DON’T know how some would react. Am I right? I assume it will be the same with family?
Well, you assume you know how people will react. Never make assumptions (this one of the Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz writes about). Can you truly ever know how someone will react to a situation? Can you truly ever know how you will react to a situation? So, if you can’t know how you will react, how can you assume how someone else might react? The thing is you can’t. You’ll just have to see how they react.
The thought that keeps bugging me while I am writing this is, if someone reacts really negatively to you coming out, do you really want that person in your life? If someone rejects you for something you innately are, is it worth keeping them in your life? Do you need that rejection and negativity in your life? Will it contribute to your happiness? I don’t know. Am I wrong? All I’m saying is that unhappiness should never be tolerated. And that losing people along the way is a fact of life. I know, I know… I am one to speak… I hate losing people. I am a collector of people. Losing a friend is horrible, but sometimes it is inevitable… You maybe know this saying (cliché?): People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
Man’s biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. However you look at it, all fears boil down to the fear of the unknown. How do you overcome the fear of the unknown? By making the situation known. Unfortunately you will have to gather your courage and just come out to know how people will react.
Leave a comment below and tell me what your biggest fear in coming out is or was. I would love to hear from you.
Alternatively, please contact me if you need any advice on how to come out, or if you have any questions about the above post.