Yesterday was National Coming Out Day which had me thinking about when I “Came out.”

This was my face around the time I “came out”. I was 21, studying at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and despite that cheeky grin, I was lonely. Not because of a lack of friends, but because I wasn’t sure of my self. So, one day I messaged my family on our group chat and told them I was gay and they were all incredibly supportive.

But did anything change in me? No. Would it change over the coming months? No. Has its changed now? Not really.

The concept of “coming out’ was supposed to be this revolutionary flood of world-changing euphoria. I had watched the movies. I was supposed to get a new bestie and we would shop at Gucci and I would tell her that she deserves better than that ‘Brad’ guy who’s been messing her around. But alas, still a Kmart budget.

What we don’t talk about is that “coming out” is a constant, ongoing thing and that it doesn’t always solve the societal feeling of being the “other”. You come out to every single individual you meet, whether directly or through the brave act of holding your partner’s hand in public. You come out as different people too, sometimes you’re Gay then perhaps, as you grow, you discover that perhaps you are Bi or Trans or whatever word best describes you. Or perhaps, you don’t have the privilege of coming out. Your country/community/family means that coming out is being kicked out of home, physical harm or worse.

So, what’s the point of this post? I suppose it’s that “coming out” won’t necessarily solve your problems but it may help. If you’re able to, have the confidence in knowing that there is a community out there waiting to learn who you are on your own terms. If you can’t “come out” then know that there are still people who love you, places online to see/hear your experience represented and that you aren’t lesser for being closeted.

Your identity is your own and ultimately (and in my opinion only) you don’t owe anyone an explanation of who you are. Learning to love who you are is a far better goal and whilst coming out may be your solution, don’t be disheartened if it’s not. We’ll all get there together. xx