In the last couple years as I have come to know some really wonderful people, both in and out of the LGBT community, that I may never had the opportunity to get to know if I had stayed hidden with who I was. One of those people is Allison Sweeney, a wonderful Christian transgender woman I met through Facebook. Our relationship has come about so naturally that neither one of us can even remember when or how it started. I am so happy to introduce her as my first guest blogger. YAY! I had planned on writing a post about the LGBT National Coming Out Day and what it means to me, but after talking with Allison, my words would have been a reflection of hers. What follows is all her words and I want to thank Allison for letting me share them with you.
"A friend of mine wrote yesterday for National Coming Out Day that we should live in a society where someone doesn't need a special day to "come out" but rather, should never have to hide in the first place...and she's right. I didn't do anything for this day, didn't feel the need to. Those people in my life that I feel need to know about what's happening in my life already know. I think all things come with time and as I discover more, whether it's through writing or counseling or reading, the time will come when I'll speak louder if I need to but there's no set day for me to do that right now.
"I do understand the solidarity that having something loosely organized like this can bring and I do think it's a good concept.
"Going against what is perceived as the normal grain of society is difficult and taking a stand for something is even more so."
"Standing for something can feel exceptionally isolating. It can bring considerable ridicule. There can be all these negative things, especially if you haven't planned for it, for how it will not only affect your life but the lives of those that you care about and care about you. However, it can be incredibly freeing and liberating because a wall has finally come done and something that could be a significant part of life is finally beginning to see light. Many times the biggest lie that we tell on a daily basis, and we ALL do it, is that we "feel fine".
"I have to say that the people that I've told have been overall supportive of me. A few are exceptionally supportive and encourage me to push the boundaries of discovery further. A few are skeptical and concerned about how my future will be impacted. A few know but don't really want to talk about it. But...no one has outright rejected me. I'll admit that I didn't have a very good plan of telling people when I did. Honestly, I didn't have a plan at all. The events at that time in my life were spiraling so out of control I would have had a hard time telling someone how to tie their shoes and everything just came spilling out at once. However, I'm ok with how it came out to close friends and family and the weight that was lifted because I finally told the people that I've trusted with everything else in my life was a tremendous blessing. It has led to an enormous amount of questions at times but I do know that every one of the people that I've told still love me for me.
"I suppose that's what "Coming Out" is supposed to really be. It's about being honest, not only with yourself but with the people in your life that care.
"What is there that you need to "come out" about?"
The very first National Coming Out Day was celebrated in 1988. Every year since, it is a day to celebrate and take pride in your sexual or gender identity and to bring awareness of issues facing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.