It’s National Coming Out Day
It's National Coming Out Day, y'all!
We've had two insanely important days back-to-back now. Yesterday was Mental Health Awareness Day, which is also extremely important to shine light on, and today is National Coming Out Day. Unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me that these two days are in sync with each other. A lot of people that are questioning their sexuality or are part of the LGBTQ+ community often have a variety of mental illnesses. Some are scared to come out, some have been bullied for being gay/trans/etc, and others feel like something is wrong with them.
Well, I'm here to tell you to YOU'RE PERFECT. OWN IT. I'm celebrating National Coming Out Day with all of you. Don't be untrue to who you are. Own it loud and proud and screw what anyone else thinks. I know that's easy enough to say, but I encourage everyone to be themselves and don't apologize. In a world that tends to have so much hate, especially here recently, there's no time to not be happy.
In celebration of National Coming Out Day, I want to share with you the day I realized I liked girls too.
I was sitting in gym class, probably 4th grade or so, and a super athletic girl in my class was assigned to the seat in front of me. I remember being nervous when the gym teacher called her name for the spot. First of all, she was super athletic and I wasn't. I knew we'd end up being partnered up at some point and I'd let her down with how un-athletic I was. Secondly, I remember feeling a little giddy. I couldn't really understand it at the time, but I had a crush on her. As a fourth grader, I didn't really understand what it meant to "like" a girl, but as I grew older, it was obvious that I liked both genders. I still consider her my first "girl crush." It was that episode that really made me recognize that it's possible to like boys and girls. I was too young at the time to really explain that to anyone, but that day would come.
For me, I never really had to "come out" to anyone. I wasn't ever scared to be who I was. My family all kind of assumed I liked both genders all along, or at least that's what they told me. I don't ever recall saying, "Hey, Mom and Dad, I'm bisexual." Luckily my mother is a saint and would never want me to be anything less than completely happy. I'm fortunate because neither my parents nor my friends judged me for liking girls. That's certainly not the case for everyone, and my heart breaks for those that don't have families as understanding as mine. I wish so bad everyone could have a mom like my mom, who supports them and loves them no matter what. I want to share my mom with everyone, really.
After I got a job in radio, I knew the topic of sexuality would come up at some point. I struggled with if I wanted to let people know that tid bit of information about me or if I wanted to keep that private. Part of me did fear for the way the public would react to the news. Would we lose listeners? Would people judge me for being bisexual? I still hadn't really ever announced it to anyone. Up until this point, it was just kind of common knowledge. I guess finally saying it on the radio was my true "coming out" moment. At that point in time, I thought, you know what, F*** IT. This is who I am. I didn't choose to be this way, but I certainly wouldn't change it. I'm attracted to both males and females, and that's OK.
The tricky thing about being bisexual is that people don't take you very seriously. Bisexual doesn't mean you kiss girls when your drunk, it means you could genuinely see yourself with either sex. That's how I am...it just so happens that person ended up being a male. I'm in a committed relationship with a guy, and being bisexual doesn't mean I love him any less. It definitely doesn't mean that just because I'm with a guy means I don't like girls, too. That's just the plan God had for me. That's who He placed in my life, and I'm so thankful He did.
Bottom line is, love is love. I want everyone to be happy with who they are. I'm celebrating National Coming Out Day with the rest of the LGBTQ+ community and all its supporters. I look forward to a day when everyone is out and open about themselves without repercussions or apprehensions. We still have more to work on with that, and that's understandable, but we've moved mountains so far.