Today (October 11) is the National Coming Out Day, which, as I described one year ago in this post, is a day meant to highlight the LGBT community, in particular the action of one disclosing their sexual or gender identity. With this day, of course, will come a great amount of stories about people coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or even a LGBT ally to their friends, family, co-workers, etc. And every single one of those stories will be beautiful and inspiring in their own right.
But with this day and those stories comes one question for me: When will I come out? As I’ve mentioned several times on here, I am not out to my own family and colleagues. I use only the word “out” in that last sentence because my potential “coming out” would involve two aspects, identity and sexuality. The identity part is obvious, of course, since I am in what I’d call the “crossdresser” subcategory of the gender identity spectrum (i.e. born a male but presents as female occasionally). The sexuality part is a little more up in the air for me since… well, I don’t know what I am in terms of sexuality.
Now, in regards to identity, though I am a closeted crossdresser (memo to self: go out again en femme sometime soon), I am comfortable with my being just that — a crossdresser, meaning I don’t have any intentions to transition from male to female. But in regards to sexuality, I have done a lot more wondering to myself, questioning “Am I Gay? Am I bisexual? Am I somewhere in between perhaps?” My previous relationships and my longing for new ones sort of complicate the question: I did have a brief relationship with another woman many years ago, and the memory of it still has a special place in my mind. I still long for companionship (friendly or otherwise) with someone else of the female persuasion (genetic or otherwise). But I sometimes find myself feeling an attraction to other men (nobody specific, just the cute guys that exist only in my mind). And, oh yeah, does my dressing up have any influence? (A bit of an influence, I must admit.)
So, if I really must categorize myself in terms of a certain sexual identity, I’ll probably have to put myself into this one: Questioning. That means that when it comes to sexuality, I’m still unsure, still exploring, and still pondering in my mind just who I am sexually. And perhaps always will. I admit it, I’m 47 years old and I am always questioning my sexual identity.
Now, will I go forth and try to
confirm explore just which sexual identity I may be? I must admit I am tempted to do so. But to paraphrase a line from Meghan Trainor, “If I wanna (man/woman/other), I’ma get a (man/woman/other), but it’s not my priority.” I’ve gotten so used to the single life (a little too used to it, that’s for sure) that having a steady relationship is low on my totem pole. But, oh, I know it would be such a sweet feeling to have at least a steady in-real-life friendship with someone.
As to the question of when I would want to come out? Well, just like wanting to find that someone, my wanting to identify my sexual identity to family or colleagues — even if that category would be questioning — is not my top priority. If I want to come out, I will do so when I feel good and ready, and only when those I believe will be supportive will show that support and not shun me into a proverbial corner. That would apply to both my sexuality and my crossdressing.
But then… what if I am already out of the closet? I guess if expressing my gender and sexual identity on this blog and on social media is considered being out of the closet, I guess that would apply. But, of course, I’m talking about being out in real life, not online or on someone’s Twitter feed. Being out in the real world and being out online are two different things, in my opinion. But that’s not to dismiss my online presence, of course. I am free to be me under this feminine persona, and free to support anyone who is gay, trans, bisexual, or lesbian.
But now that I think of it… since I do already consider myself part of the LGBT community, and since I freely support the LGBT community on here… maybe I am out already, in my own special way. One doesn’t have to be exclusively gay, bi, or trans in order to come out (the Human Rights Council says so here). So, on this National Coming Out Day, I guess I should confirm the obvious: I am part of the broad LGBT community, in my own special way. And I am a crossdresser. But above all, I do support anyone who is LGBT, whichever category they may (or may not) fall under. And, yeah, it’s a great feeling to say all that, even if it was so very obvious.
For the record, that above Human Rights Council link was their official recognition of the 2016 National Coming Out Day, which included the nice YouTube video I’ve embedded below as well as some informational and resource links. If you decided to come out today (or the day of your choosing), congratulations on being your honest and open self. If, like me, you’re not entirely ready to come out, that’s okay, for you are still being honest with yourself. And if, like me, you’re still questioning any sexual and/or gender aspect of yourself, that’s okay as well. Just know that there are those who will love and respect you unconditionally, just for being the person you are.