By Mercedes Gray-Davis
On Oct. 11, we celebrate everyone in the community who comes out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and more. Inclusivity is the key to this day, spreading love and positivity to everyone in the community and celebrating, as well as aiming to educate others on LGBTQIA+ issues. For many, coming out is every day, it’s a nonstop cycle of people constantly wondering if you actually are what you identify as.
Coming out isn’t what makes you who you are. You can be gay and not tell anyone, but it doesn’t erase your sexuality and make it invalid. Regardless of who you come out to or when, your sexuality is one hundred percent valid. The stigma of having the weight on your shoulders, the burden of society needing to come out, is irrelevant. In some cases, it can be unsafe and even dangerous for some people to come out.
Every family’s situation is different, some families may accept with open arms and loving hearts, some not so much. The risk of suicide and homelessness skyrockets in LGBTQIA+ youth when shown rejection by their parents. It’s a serious issue, and acceptance is the number one thing needed in any and all coming out situations.
And if you want to come out, and you deem it safe for yourself in your home life, then do it, but never feel pressured to do so. Consider it, don’t feel like you have to. It may be easier to say it to some more than others, but that’s always going to be how it is. Just remember to live your truth, no matter what form it’s in. Love others unconditionally and show support with all that you can, homophobia thrives off ignorance. Educate those around you and be an ally, and if you’re the one coming out, know that there’s an entire community with you along the way.
Photo Courtesy of WSB Radio