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It Does Get Better

Updated on May 27, 2014

Being Gay, and Why I'm Always Honest About It

First a little about me:

Coming out at 19 to my mother didn't go down the way I'd have liked it to, but she tried her hardest to understand. Changing gender prefixes when she remembered, when asking me about getting a boy...whooopps...girl friend. When I introduced my girlfriend, who is now my Civil Union Wife, she took her into the family, and finally got her head around it.

But, her attempt at initial acceptance gave me the courage to come out to my friends, and that went a whole lot better. A flatting situation with 3 gay men, and myself - the only lesbian - changed my life for the better. I saw how just accepting yourself, and not giving two hoots about what people think could make you accept yourself, and love yourself just the way you were. They taught me that I had to be me, and I had to make sure I was safe to be me whenever I could. We had a rule that if there were homophobes amongst our friends or colleagues that they were not to come to the house - home was often the only place we could feel safe. Everyone respected that. I have always wanted to thank those guys for what they taught me, but never knew how. Until I figured something out.

Why I'm So Open About It

People often say :"Why do people need to come out? Who Cares?" Well, what I realised was that we come out for various reasons - to be honest about who we are, to be honest about who are partners are, to find a sense of community, and to find out that we are not alone in this.

I start every new job the same way - I do not mention my sexuality in the interview - because even though it's illegal, there is always some way that they will find to say "Oh, you just missed out" for another reason. But, I'm always honest when it comes to the first day/week/month questions about partners/husbands, and what they do. Most people are like "Oh, and what does she do?" No big deal.

The other thing I've always done is this: People are often curious, even if they are just being nosey. If someone asks "I've got a question, but you don't have to answer it" - I smile and tell them "Ask away, just be sure you want to know the answer - because I'll answer almost anything unless it's incredibly personal.' (Such as what I prefer in the bedroom!). And I've been asked some...interesting..things! Most people have gotten an answer, and some a little more than they bargained for.

Often, this later translates into longer conversations, about all number of things - about me, about gay people, about discrimination, etc. And, I'm happy to continue on these as well.

Now I don't want it to seem like I'm shoving my sexuality down people's throats, or jamming my thoughts in their face - this is only if they ask that I share anything.

But, along with coming out - I do this for one reason. I've had my share of struggles, issues, and pain with being gay. I've had my share of other issues that I'm not ashamed off (angsty teen etc!). These things have made me who I am today, and I am NOT ashamed of who I am today. However, so many people are made to feel ashamed - of who they are, and what they've been through to get there.

I talk about all this stuff openly, because if my talking about the issues to one person changes something for that person, or someone they love, then my job here on Earth is done. I don't know that the person I could be talking to could be questioning their sexuality, or have a child or grandchild doing just that. If I can allow them to see that it's all okay, and that their child/grandchild/self will be okay, and is the same person they were before coming out, and make someone's journey easier, and prevent them feeling suicidal or bullied or alone - then.....it's all worth it.

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    • jlpark profile image
      Author

      Jacqui 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Wow - thanks guys. I had had a conversation with a colleague, then come home and read a hub about "why do Gays have to come out?". It all just cemented my goal to just be me, and make this all easier for someone else. I'm not saying that I've had a huge struggle because thanks to a very accepting family, and great in-laws - I haven't. BUT, I do know that not everyone has it this way, and if by being strong enough to put myself out there helps out one more person, I'm happy.

    • Marsei profile image

      Sue Pratt 5 years ago from New Orleans

      What an excellent hub. I think coming out is so important. I was talking to a friend on Facebook about this issue, and she said she only knew one gay person. After looking at her friend list, I was amazed that she believed what she said. I saw at least ten people who I know are gay. And there the cycle goes round and round. How do you come out to someone who is always commenting about their religious beliefs and making nasty comments about gays? I like your attitude and I guess it's hard to come by, but it's best not to care what anyone thinks. Just be who you are. I'm not gay, and it's easy for me to say that! I admire your courage and you do a huge service by showing others how it's done!

      I had a gay roomate in college and I loved her with all my heart. I hope her life has gotten better now that things have changed so much since the early '60s. It was tough back then. Everyone made the assumption that Jake and I were lovers. Neither of us cared and actually fed the rumors. And Jake, if you're out there anywhere, call me. It's been 25 years!

      Voted up, awesome, interesting, and helpful.

      marsei

    • picadilly profile image

      Priscill Anne Alvik 5 years ago from Schaumburg, IL

      Jlpark well done!!! As we humans we have so much wisdom to share through touch!!!

    • picadilly profile image

      Priscill Anne Alvik 5 years ago from Schaumburg, IL

      I loved this hub you showcased and the sentiment behind the story. Thank you for the share!!!

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      "If I can allow them to see that it's all okay, and that their child/grandchild/self will be okay, and is the same person they were before coming out, and make someone's journey easier, and prevent them feeling suicidal or bullied or alone - then.....it's all worth it."

      I picked this line out in particular because it's a goal you've set that I truly admire and salute you for doing. For one reason, people struggle so hard to find their identity and often times they are ashamed of who they are and what they become. They feel like a "freak" and people with words like yours show that no one can make them feel that way. They have no reason to feel ashamed to growing up into the person they are, especially if it does no harm to anyone else.

      My other reason for picking this portion out (as well as why I enjoy this piece overall) is that I'm glad you have been willing to come out and explain to importance of coming out. Your choice on who you chose to love and the openness of your choice serves as a major inspiration to others that they no longer need to be afraid of how they feel. Love is love...it's genuine and it doesn't matter who shares it with one another and you've made that message very clear.

      Time to share this one! Well done!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Well expressed and commendable. Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared.

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