Why I Actually SHOULD Have Come Out
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Politics and Activism

Why I Actually SHOULD Have Come Out

This week, I play my own Devil's Advocate.

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Why I Actually SHOULD Have Come Out
FreeImages.com/Patrik Millikin

Last week, I wrote an article about why I don't have to come out as gay, particularly because doing so is meant as a personal move that signals my comfort level with the people I form meaningful relationships with, and not as an answer to everyone who asks the question on a whim. Be that as it may, a wonderful professor I had the pleasure of meeting made a good point to the class: if you want to be able to say you understand a topic comprehensively, you have to be able to argue on differing sides of the topic. So for this week, I'll be discussing a couple of reasons that it was in fact necessary for me to come out formally.

One of my minor concerns was with the concept of people that wanted to ask about my sexual orientation just out of curiosity. How I feel about this topic has changed over time, with many people leaning to the side of seeing the question as offensive. I myself weakly took up the idea that such a question is worthless and thus does not require an answer. However, in thinking deeper on the subject a few weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that if the question was as "worthless" as I believed it was, then the answer should be equally as worthless and a lot easier to do. In other words, a question asked neutrally should be answered just as neutrally, shouldn't it? I came to such a conclusion when a friend I made told me that she had meant to ask if I was gay earlier, but she was stopped by her other friend for fear that the question would have come off as rude. It only took me about three seconds to realize that she wanted to ask purely out of curiosity, and I probably would have answered her pretty plainly anyway. As it is now, I highly recommend just answering the question honestly and straightforwardly. If anything, it will reveal who one's true friends are. The only time I would not recommend this route is if someone is in a dire situation where admitting any sexuality other than straight would lead to danger.

My other concern here was one of those dangers, particularly the typical dangers that I would have to leave home after coming out, a very real fear that many other LGBT youth share as well. The fear of not being accepted by peers is pretty small, but not being accepted by people you are financially dependent on is a real dilemma. The idea that I had to be ready to walk out the front door and be on my own for any indefinite amount of time was a hard one to think about - especially considering that I didn't know what resources could be out there to help me - but it was one I was ready to face. But me being the daredevil I am, after having come out I gladly would have taken my chances with being rejected by my family rather than go through the perpetual fear of being found out that I experienced for the past few years of my young adult life. At least I would have gotten the words out, and I would have preferred any response rather than being in limbo.

In the end, my main issues really ended up being concerned with the fear of how the world would change after I came out. Being able to tell myself and my friends that I'm gay was something I had already come to terms with, but my real fears stemmed from how the rest of the world outside my comfort zone would react. It only took me until now to realize that coming out, as much as it is an event for me, is also an event for the world around me. In taking the time to write this, I hope some other closeted person out there also takes the time to think these things out as well, reading this and my other article along with many others, to decide when is the best time to come out and finally experience the little added peace of mind that I finally have.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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