AI: Coming Out Again
A lot of people talk about “coming out” as one single event, something that you do once and then are done with. But strangers and acquaintances aren’t going to know that you’re queer just because you told your friends and family.
I always struggle with this, especially when I’m talking to a casual acquaintance. When my optometrist asks me how my life’s been in the year since she saw me last, do I mention my girlfriend? How about my boyfriend? My gender identity? I feel like if I talk about all of that, it’ll seem like I just want attention, or am trying to be “different.”
How do you decide how to come out, and when? Do you get tired of doing it over and over again?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.
Having had wretched experiences coming out to people I’ve known most of my life and am very close to, I avoid coming out to established friends and family like the plague. However, I find it infinitely easier to come out to new friends and acquaintances, casually mentioning bi/poly/atheist/feminist when the opportunity arises in conversation. These people aren’t personally offended when they haven’t had time to form lasting assumptions about me, and I haven’t invested enough to be hurt if they bail. I keep hoping for pleasant enough experiences in this realm to encourage me to be fully open one day, but I’m not counting it.