How Madonna & God helped me come out

ncodNational Coming out Day (NCOD) is upon us again and even though 2015 has awarded us with several landmark changes, we must also remember that there is still a lot of progress and change to be made.  Which is why I think days such as this should always be celebrated by us and allies alike, given the formation of the day in 1988 was a result of a landmark 1987 National March on Washington on October 11th 1987.

Not only is it important to come out to someone, I think it’s important to come out to oneself as well. .

The element, or CD in this case, that helped me come out to myself was Madonna’s Erotica cd that came out in October 1992.  It’s a concept CD about sex, a very small word for something so complex and vast.  The one song that spoke to me was ‘Deeper and Deeper’.

EroticaWhile the music video was Andy Warhol inspired, I think the song was about a guy coming to terms with being gay.  I believe this due to the usage of lyrics straight out of her song Vogue, as well as talking about letting their father mold them, but trying to remember everything their mom told them.

This particular CD coming out when I was questioning my sexual orientation turned me into a life-long Madonna fan.  She was expressing her desires and got backlash from the general public for not following rigid societal practices.  In a way, I felt we were in the same boat even though our ‘coming outs’ were for different things.  Different confessions, same backlash from society.

After realizing who I was, I didn’t really want to tell the whole world.  You could say that if I’d come out in middle school, no one would have been surprised and I didn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of being right about me.

Ironically, I started going to church in 8th grade figuring I could try to assimilate into the ‘straight’ world and a church would be the logical first step since they preach about not having sex.  Looking back, only I would think this way LOL.

After a year, I went to a church retreat and during a one on one with my small group leader, I finally came out.  It was the most cathartic feeling I’d ever felt, telling another person what I’d been telling myself for at least two years.  He seemed supportive so I relaxed before focusing on having a good time at this retreat.

Later on that day, he told me he wanted to speak to me further and I went with him not thinking anything was wrong.  We went to a small room where the head of the youth group was there waiting for me with a bible.  I had an odd feeling this had to do with what I’d told my friend and I was right.

I was lectured on how being gay was a sin, perhaps I should sleep in a room by myself away from all my friends, then I was given the suggestion of going to ‘counseling’ to help me work through these feelings in order to become straight.  All I could remember was the look of judgement on the face of the head of the youth group, as my friend kept saying that he didn’t want me to feel any more different and isolated.

Feelings of betrayal and embarrassment came over me, but I kept my feelings under wraps as I explained that I didn’t think being gay was a sin before pointing out that God never makes mistakes so that meant he intended for me to be gay.  Before we got up to leave, I also said that by the church saying being gay is a defect, it’s really saying that God isn’t perfect and makes mistakes.

Looking back, I don’t regret doing that because it was something that had to be done.  Keeping who I was inside wasn’t good for me, and I’m glad that I made the choice when I came out to someone.  To anyone thinking about coming out, just know that there maybe acceptance or rejection, but as long as you accept yourself that’s all that matters.

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Filed under: Musings

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