Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Coming Out"

John Marine | 3/24/2013 10:48:00 PM | | | | |
When someone "comes out," he/she announces and admits being gay. Why is this a big deal? Most people feel hateful or intolerant of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or whatever. Acceptance of one's gay lifestyle can be a difficult task. Some people may never want to associate with or be around certain gay people- even friends and family! Considering that people can have strong hostility towards those who are gay or transgendered, there are two parts of "coming out"- the actual coming out and seeking acceptance. This blog post is a look at "coming out" and trying to get accepted by others.


As with all of my posts in this category under the LGBT label, I would like to send a special welcome to everyone among the LGBT community who may be reading "John's Blog Space." All of my material and commentary are provided for educational and helpful purposes. "John's Blog Space" is not any kind of humor site, and I make sure to provide useful and respectful material while paying proper respect to certain subjects involved.

I would like to stress that this blog post does not have anything to do with me "coming out" about anything. I'm providing this post as a look at coming out from a number of perspectives.

WARNING: Due to the subject matter of this topic, some of the material featured may not be suitable for all audiences. You are reading and viewing this topic at your own discretion.

--- Coming Out ---

If it were easy to announce being gay and be accepted, then there would be no need to want to be accepted- because we would be accepted with little or no protest and with no regret of the consequences for coming out. But as with many things in life and society, not everyone takes even the simplest things lightly. Most people make mountains out of molehills (so to speak). The topic of coming out to others is especially one of grave concern to those involved. Some people who are gay feel as if they committed a crime worthy of being incarcerated in federal prison; and if they confess their gay or transgender ways to loved ones, people feel they will lose the ones they love most. It is not a crime or anything illegal to be gay or transgender. When someone feels they have skeletons in the closet (so to speak), they feel the need at some point to confess their gay tendencies and their most intimate emotions and feelings in being gay. This is the "coming out" process that can seriously alter or affect relationships with others. Some people may be understanding. Some others may be disgusted and may not be so understanding. The most important phase of "coming out" is actually releasing and confessing rather than just hold in your thoughts and emotions.

The Anatomy of Coming Out.

Being gay is NOT a choice. It isn't funny or comical to want to be gay. It isn't a switch that you can just turn on or off. It is not a disease. There may be certain situations which may seem homosexual in nature (like romantically touching or kissing someone of the same sex), but being TRULY gay goes much deeper than anything really casual or comical in regards to LGBT matters.

Being gay or transgendered is the result of personal feelings ranging from comfort to certain mental aspects. A certain person may have deep personal feelings towards wanting to be involved in same-sex relationships or conduct himself/herself in a way mainstream society may readily disapprove. A person who is wanting to come out feels the need to tell people of his/her gay or transgender tendencies. He/She may feel the need to release his/her innermost feelings and passions after holding them in for so long. For example- a male may enjoy having stronger romantic tendencies towards other males than with females. A female may enjoy the romantic company of another female more than with males. A bisexual person may equally enjoy the company of both males and females. Some people may be sexually aroused at thoughts or visions of erotic or appealing images of one's same sex. Someone transgender may feel trapped in the wrong body and want to emerge as someone of one's opposite gender. But until someone actually "comes out," these are all just deep feelings.

So when someone comes out on these issues, a major release is made. It takes courage to let out these gay or transgender intentions rather than hold them in for so long. Letting these innermost feelings remain in you only fester to the point where they take over your life. Here is an analogy about "coming out" for you. If you're trying to "come out," you are like a boat or a ship- you want to set sail and venture out on the water, but you docked by the anchor of your own gay or transgender feelings. The only way you can go on your journey on water is if you let go of that anchor so you can sail the seas. Letting the anchor loose in this analogy is one's "coming out."

When is it Time to "Come Out?"

The best time to "come out" is when you have held in your own gay or transgender tendencies long enough to want to proudly portray your gay or transgender pride to the world. It should be reserved for a time where you feel weak after holding in something like this for so long to where it is eventually time to announce being gay or transgender. It is not only about announcing these feelings to others, but also about living with and enduring these LGBT lifestyle changes.

Coming out, however, shouldn't be a confession. The decision to "come out" shouldn't be the result of being under pressure because of suspicions one may have of one being gay or transgender. One should be able to announce being gay or transgender when he/she feels most comfortable and ready to express these feelings; not at a time to be confronted. There may be a time where someone may be caught in the act being gay or transgender, but the best time to come out is when one announces and exposes their innermost gay feelings and tendencies. It shouldn't have to be at a candid moment.

One should be comfortable enough to be able to act out and live with certain decisions made. That even includes being involved in gay and transgender matters. Many of our lifestyle habits and decisions come with their own consequences no matter what they may be in whatever lifestyle habits or choices we make or live by. That even includes certain decisions in being gay or transgender. Someone who is gay may want to openly flirt with and be romantically involved with same-sex partners. Someone who is transgendered wants to enjoy dressing up as and living as a member of the sex different from one's birth gender. "Coming out" in these situations involves letting one's true feelings emerge so one can enjoy being gay and/or transgendered. A person can only hold in such feelings for so long until feeling the need to finally confess to loved ones of his/her gay or transgender intents.

Why Would Someone Make a Big Deal About Coming Out?

...because it IS a big deal! Someone may be disrespected for a long time. Someone may end up losing the ones they love most. Announcing these sorts of things can be detrimental to the love and respect of others. To those hateful of LGBT people, you may think I'm just making excuses. Fact is- these people fear they will lose the love and respect of others simply because of announcing being gay. The one thing people fear most is losing the ones they love most because of something like being gay. It is almost like being punished for a crime you didn't commit. That's why it is so important to "come out" rather than be caught in the act or have to confess something you are not comfortable to confess about in a most inconvenient time.

Potential Consequences of Coming Out.

One may be ridiculed and hated on by loved ones. If the person who comes out says this to family he/she lives with, a chance may be run of that person being kicked out of the house or have to live someplace else. Certain friends may think of one differently and may end up losing friends. If a person is so hateful of coming out as he/she intended, being lonely and depressed will also result from this. Some gay and transgender people may even be bullied by others. At the very worst, some people may be so depressed and lonely that they inflict serious damage or injury or at the most extreme- even commit suicide. It is a potentially life-altering decision to want to "come out" to others. However, letting these intents out is better than storing them in for so long to where you can't live a healthy life.

In some cases, being gay or transgender can even take on religious connotations. So if you are very religious or come from some sort of religious background, coming out can be very damaging from a religious standpoint.

So, uh... yeah. Coming out is a big deal.

--- Coming Out: The Quest For Acceptance ---

As mentioned in the introduction, coming out involves both actually "coming out" and trying to be accepted. Here are two schools of thought:

Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Acceptance.

What if you wanted to come out to announce being gay? What if you prefer to be openly gay or prefer the romantic company of same-sex partners? This can be difficult to ask for acceptance from loved ones if you came out to the ones you love. It can be even more difficult wondering if people will ever accept you or think of you positively after coming out. People may possibly make jokes about you or harass you for being gay. More accepting people would appreciate and respect your opinions. People don't have to like or accept gay people or gay lifestyles, but at least seeing the good in someone despite one's lifestyle of choice is reassuring to someone who came out.

Transgender Acceptance.

What seems equally as difficult in "coming out" is in transgender acceptance. This is where "coming out of the closet" comes into play. People who want to be accepted for their transgendered ways try to hope loved ones accept the person for wanting to be transgender. Being a transgendered person can mean one of two things- someone may feel the desire to become either a part-time or full-time (through surgery) member of one's opposite sex. Or, someone may feel born in the wrong body and want to have surgery done to become a full-time member of one's opposite gender. Either way, it is tough to consider being any capacity of transgender; and therefore, looking to be accepted as someone transgendered is no easy task. It is not only a difficult task for wanting to be transgender to some capacity, but it can also be a problem both financially and health-wise, especially if seeking surgery or wanting to take on hormone therapy.

In terms of the desire to come out as someone transgender, the toughest task is in trying to convince others to accept your ways. A transvestite (clinical term for a crossdresser) is someone who feels the desire to act as and become a part-time member of one's opposite sex. They do not want to be full-time members of one's opposite sex. Instead, they enjoy acting as and being members of one's opposite sex. A person who desires to be a transsexual- a full-time member of one's opposite sex may opt to have surgery and various other procedures to transition into becoming that full-time member of the opposite sex.

The stronger case for coming out would be for those seeking to become transsexual. In addition, it is also the tougher case for not only acceptance, but actually wanting to go through with all the individual elements to successfully transition from one's birth gender to being one's opposite gender. Either way, trying to gain acceptance as a transgender is actually a good bit tougher than gay acceptance.

All that is asked for is acceptance of these lifestyle changes. Some will get that acceptance; but many others may not be so fortunate. It all depends on whom you are around and how accepting they will be of you.

--- Coming Out: Inspirations ---

If you are a normal reader of my fashion blog- "StyleSpace by JBM," you know I may link to certain blog posts online relevant to the topic. Well here, I decided to share some insight on other people whom have "come out" in some way. I actually wanted to be diverse in providing these inspirations. I had intended on finding blogs in addition to videos, but I will only feature videos. The inspirations here come from videos. Click on the link below the videos to see them on YouTube if you're unable to view embedded material in your browser.

Here are video inspirations on "coming out." Some of these videos are rather long, so you may probably want to view them on YouTube rather than just see them here in my blog post. Most of the videos contain some bad language. Be mindful of this if you are easily offended by such bad language.

• A Gay Coming Out Story
The first video I'll share is from GregoryGORGEOUS. The very popular Canadian YouTuber is best known for his makeup and fashion advice. I have even featured him in a few of my posts here on "John's Blog Space" and on "StyleSpace by JBM." Here, though, GregoryGORGEOUS shares his coming out story in this video (WARNING: some bad language in this video):

^ "My Coming Out Story"

Honestly... whether you like this guy or not, you have to respect him for sharing his views and just simply being himself.

• Lesbian Coming Out Stories
Remember I said I wanted to be diverse? Well, after sharing a male story, I wanted to share a video of a lesbian "coming out." This lady's story can be checked out below:

^ "016. My First Coming Out."

She does bring across some great points. Here is another video, featuring a lesbian couple this time:

^ "Coming Out Stories"

So there is a more comical look at coming out. Comical, but still very real.

• A Bisexual Coming Out Story.
There may be a special reason why I am featuring this video. That reason is to show that you can be VERY young and feel the need to come out. This girl is only 13 years old as of this video and came out to people. So please take a look at this video. If you learn ANYTHING from this video, learn that you can never be too old or too young to develop and experience these LGBT feelings (WARNING: a little bad language):

^ "My Coming Out Story: I'm 13 and I'm Bisexual!"

I wanted to feature both a bisexual male and a bisexual female, but I ultimately decided to feature just this video.

• A Transgender Coming Out Story
Finally, here is some transgender coming out inspiration. Remember that coming out transgender can be not only difficult, but potentially a financial situation. The video below is good enough evidence of this:

^ "Coming Out As Transgender To Parents"

I found it extremely hard to believe she used to be a boy. She's freaking cute!

These videos are examples of what it is like to consider or think about in regards to "coming out." I provided these videos just to show you that coming out is not easy, and that these are real people sharing real problems in real situations. Let their experiences help you if you are in this situation of wanting to "come out" to others.

--- Coming Out: Final Thoughts ---

There is nothing wrong with being gay or transgender. What becomes a problem is in "coming out" to loved ones. You may fear they will hate you for what seems like forever. But if certain people are accepting of you even after coming out, you should truly be thankful and fortunate. No matter what you think of gay or transgender people, they are still people. Maybe you don't buy into their lifestyle or their ways. Maybe you can't tolerate people being gay or transgender. It takes bravery to want to "come out." It takes even more bravery to be able to "come out" while also accepting any and all consequences of coming out- especially as it involves being accepted by others. If you feel the need to "come out," do so when you reach a point where you ultimately want to confess what you've been hiding as far as gay and/or transgender feelings and passions are concerned. If you just keep these feelings in, you are only festering the problem and further letting these feelings take over your life. So at some point, you need to "come out" when the time is right.

If you don't become accepted by loved ones after "coming out," it is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of life as you know it. Some people may not accept you right away. Some may never accept you. If anything, you've done something admirable- acknowledge and accept something you feel you may not proud of confessing towards others, like admitting and confessing about your gay and/or transgender feelings and emotions. If a person's heart really means something to you, accepting someone's coming out will make a world of a difference in the life of someone who feels broken down holding in these gay/transgender feelings. Can you look within someone who "comes out" and realize they are the same person you've known and loved for some amount of time, or do you cut someone out of your life just because of his/her coming out?

A person- regardless of being straight or gay- is still a person. They breathe the same air that we do, interact in the same world we live in, communicate the same way other humans do... what makes gay and/or transgender people any different? They are still people just like the rest of us. A person just can't think of someone as a total outcast from society just because of being gay or transgendered. That is why "coming out" bears great importance in helping move on with our lives while also properly releasing our gay or transgender feelings and emotions rather than just hold these feelings in to where they interfere with us living healthy lives.

When the time is right, or when it is time to finally confess; "come out" with confidence. You may or may not get the answers or responses you may be hoping for, but it is at least worth trying. In addition, at least it is better to release and confess your innermost and intimate gay and/or transgender feelings and emotions, rather than just letting them fester and control your life.

Good luck to all of you who may be looking to "come out" to people you love most. I hope the ones who you come out to are able to accept you and love you as much as (or even more so) as before coming out. What do you all think about "coming out" to others, or how did you respond if someone may have "come out" to you? I hope this blog post was to your liking and that I could possibly help or motivate any of you in this situation. Thank you for reading!

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John Marine said...

Hello John. I'm glad to have found you. I'm not lgbt but I'm also not very knowledgeable. I'll learn a lot from you and I hope you don't mind my following.

Hummingbird Girl said...

Such a amazing job You've done.

John Marine said...

Important theme and you have talked about it in the right way. I think that most people never think about how a gay or transgender person feels like...because if they did, they would realize that we all feel the same, that we all want to be accepted by the people we care about, find a place for ourselves in this world and not be bullied because we're different. It takes courage to come out and people should respect that.

John Marine said...

Such an important topic, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

xo, Yi-chia

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