We’re all familiar with the term “coming out” as it applies to the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, that phrase is used in lots of different ways now. I recently heard a friend say that they were “coming out of the closet as a comic book nerd”. Cultural appropriation is a thing. Although, I don’t know if a phrase that describes someone declaring their sexuality to the world is “culture”, but I guess I’ll make my stand on that hill.
Anyway, in case someone has literally been living in a closet for the past…I don’t know, fifty years…”coming out” means that a person that belongs to the LGBTQ+ community “came out of the closet” and announced their “status”. It’s a thing.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I think it’s nice–in theory–that someone has a metaphorical coming out party, defining their sexuality openly and honestly. Living their truth. All those hippy-dippy phrases that we use to describe our joy at living our lives the way that we are meant to lead them.
It’s great. In theory.
Here’s the thing–and you knew there’d be a “thing” unless you’re new here:
I think, at some point, people need to realize that the party is over. And I’m not talking about the person that came out. Usually, they move on with their life and do their thang. However, for a lot of the folks that LGBTQ+ come out to, the party never ends. This can really cause a problem for the folks that came out in the first place…because they didn’t realize that this would be a bimonthly meeting that they’d have to attend. At some point, we all get tired of attending parties.
If you’re gay/lesbian, you’ll be asked quite often, especially when you have a new relationship if you’re still the L or G in LGBTQ+.
If you’re bisexual and you change relationships from same-sex to opposite-sex, you’ll be asked if you’re still bisexual.
If you’re queer, you’ll pretty much have people questioning every move you make.
If you’re trans–God have mercy on your soul. You’re in for some shit, my friend.
I don’t even want to get into the things non-binary and intersex people have to deal with–it gives me the sweats.
I like a good “Irish Goodbye”. Ask how many people who have thrown holiday parties, birthday parties, housewarmings, quinceaneras, baby gender reveals, animal christenings, brises, “Just Got Muh Tubes Tied”, bachelorette parties*, and other celebratory events have looked up and realized that I’ve just disappeared. I’ll grab my shit and go while you’re distracted. I don’t give an eff of any size. I came, I saw, I got hongry and your refreshments weren’t up to par. I gotta go.
And I’mma do the same with the whole “coming out” party that is going on with society. I’d say “consider this my Irish Goodbye”, but since I’m announcing it, it doesn’t really count. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m tired of explaining my relationships (that ain’t hurtin’ anyone) to…everyone. I mean, maybe I wouldn’t have a perpetual eye roll going on if everyone had to deal with this phenomenon–yeah, I’m talking to the cis-gender straight folks. When you get a boyfriend/girlfriend or wife/husband, do you get asked “So…still straight then, are you?” No. You don’t.
So, the party is over folks. Let someone come out of whichever closet they were tucked into…and then let them move on with their day. And you do the same. Don’t force people to define their sexuality to you every time they do anything having to do with their sexuality. Gay and Lesbian folks may find opposite genders attractive at times. Bisexual folks find both genders attractive–depending on the person. Queer folks are trickier, but it’s basically the same concept**. Transgender/Transexual folks can be straight, gay, queer…they can do whatever the hell they want. Blah blah blah. There are all flavors of sexuality and gender and identity, and we all just have to accept and tolerate it. Doesn’t mean you have to necessarily understand or agree–but if it ain’t hurtin’ you or affecting how you lead your life, let it go. Assume that whoever a person is in a relationship with is who they want to be with. Assume they’re happy. Until you’re told otherwise, this should be your autopilot way of living.
Now, I understand that cis-gender heterosexual people–and even some LGBTQ+ folks have questions. And not all questions are meant to be rude and judgemental. So, to help you all out so that you don’t have to bug the shit out of people just trying to live their lives here’s a handy guide:
Let it be your sherpa in your struggle to leave others the fuck alone. Namaste.
*I’ve been to exactly one bachelorette party–as a favor to the person getting married. It may have involved the bride-to-be’s shoes being thrown out of my car window as I drove down 635 in North Dallas during Saturday evening rush hour, a wine bottle shaped like a cat, possible alcohol poisoning, knocking on neighbors doors at 3am because we needed a corkscrew, and a truly horrific evening at the Hard Rock Cafe where people were (poorly) performing The Rocky Horror Picture Show*** songs on stage. I might have been the ringleader for 80% of those events.
**Don’t invite me to your TED Talk about gender/sexuality. I accept all people as they are and don’t ask questions. That exempts me from continuing education.
***I did make a few friends teaching others how to do “The Time Warp”. So…not a total loss.****
****Did you know I can do “The Time Warp” without spilling a single drop from a martini glass?*****
*****Well, I can’t.
Until next time…