I feel like my entire adult life is this long quest of coming out. First coming out as bisexual to a few trusted friends, to a lover, to my mother, to all my friends, to acquaintances, to coworkers. And then I realized I also have to come out as being a witch. And being kinky. And oh yeah, I have to come out about reading erotica. And about writing erotica. And now I have to come out about writing about sex, in a non-fiction way. Itís like step after step of what I have to reveal about myself.
Of course I donít have to come out. No one is making me. But the thing is that ripping way those veils, discarding that shame, is difficult and painful and feels so fucking good when Iím done.
Iím not ashamed of being bisexual and I will readily tell anyone in any context in which itís appropriate. It was rarely appropriate in a business environment, just as my marriage was rarely an appropriate topic of conversation. In a context in which itís relevant, itís no big deal. I am not afraid and I feel no shame.
Recently, Iíve had a new thing to add to my list Ė coming out to my family and other more conservative acquaintances as writing and teaching about sexuality. I find myself hedging at first, since Iíd forgotten what it was like to ďcome outĒ after so much time of just being out. I would answer their ďworkshops about what?Ē with ďintimacyĒ or ďrelationshipsĒ and never once utter the word ďsex.Ē But Iíve started uttering it, and while I do stumble, it feels good. Honesty feels fucking brilliant when youíve been hiding something you know you donít really need to hide.
And sharing these pieces of information about myself, presenting a more honest, more deeply faceted version of myself, almost always puts other people at ease, even if they donít share that particular label with me. It makes me more human. No one has ever had a negative reaction or treated me differently or awkwardly in future interactions. (Well, except my mom But thatís her problem, not mine.)
Possibly, Iím very good at judging who I can come out to. But I donít think itís just that.
We hide so much of ourselves away from each other, looking at whatís appropriate in a business environment, what do my parents actually need to know about me, what does my extended family need to know about me, what does the guy in the grocery store bagging my groceries need to know about me? What if it wasnít all on a need-to-know basis? What if you could just be who you are, out loud and unafraid?
What if that was really real?
It could be real, I think. We can make that world a reality.
But you donít have to come out, of course. Sometimes itís not safe. Sometimes it will just cause complicated or painful conversations that simply arenít worth it. Some people arenít worth it. Use good judgment; all Iím suggesting is that you reconsider it. Reconsider coming out. Reconsider being honest about being queer, being pagan, being kinky, being a sexual person. Look in the mirror and say ďI am Julianne and I am a sexual being.Ē
See that glow in your eyes, that smile tugging at your lips?
That makes it so worth it.
~ Posted 21 June 2006, property of
Columns by Wanton Hussy