Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be All Right–Positive Aspects of Coming Out

Today, I want to focus on the good parts of coming out. The story that you hear in the popular media can be negative–coming out is painful, difficult, and full of loss. We have to tell gay teens that “it gets better” since coming out early in life can be so awful. People coming out later in life face their own losses, particularly if they are women in heterosexual marriages with children, like I was.

While I don’t want to discount these potentially negative aspects, this media story completely discounts what’s good about coming out. I know in my own situation, I was scared of what my kids might think of me when I came out to them. I had it built up in my mind as a potential negative. But the reality was so much more positive than I could have expected (you’ll have to read my forthcoming book to hear the story of my coming out to my kids!). What I thought would be a negative ended up as a definite positive in my coming out journey.

Here are some other positive aspects of coming out:

  1. No longer having to hide your true self–you are finally out! No more hiding in the closet, no more worrying about “your secret” getting out, no more wearing a mask.
  2. Finding out who your real friends are–the people who love you get the chance to love the real you. The people who don’t get it or can’t be supportive will fall by the wayside. You will find out who your true friends are now, trust me.
  3. Reinventing yourself–you get the chance to figure out what kind of gay girl you are and how you fit into the lesbian scene. This can be like having a second adolescence–one part scary, one part thrilling, but mostly an exciting new beginning!
  4. Freeing up headspace–staying in the closet take up so much headspace–the worries, the lies, the facade you have to keep up. When you’re out of the closet, you free up that space and can spend it on other things (learn a new language! play a new instrument! find a girlfriend!)
  5. A chance to have your best second half–the only way to get to your best second half is to take that first step outside the closet. I promise that however scary it may be, good things are just outside that door. And the only way to cross that bridge to your future is to take the first step.

Take it from me, there are many positive aspects about coming out. But the best one of all is that you are finally you–real and true. What could be better than that?

Leave me a comment and let me know about the positive aspects of your coming out journey. I’d love to hear about them!

 

7 thoughts on “Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be All Right–Positive Aspects of Coming Out

  1. Anonymous

    Enjoyed what you had to so – so true about so many things in our lives that we are scared of not just “coming out”. I am learning to experience life a second time myself as well after my husband of 23 years walked out on me and the kids. So happy for you that you are free to be yourself – i am learning to find myself

    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, many of these positive aspects are true for other situations in life, too. I’m glad that you were able to find them useful in your experience as well. Good luck to you as you navigate your second half, too!

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for this, Andrea. ALL TRUE. Ironically, the absolute best way of protecting yourself and your family in these situations is to come out. Secrets are dangerous and uncontrollable. Once you empower yourself with the truth, you are in control. Something you may feel can be used against you is neutralized because you are saying that you own it, there is nothing wrong with it. It is my truth, not my dirty little secret. Especially now that the law is more on our side, there is nothing real to fear except bigotry. And even if bigotry is coming from your own family, do you want to perpetuate it any longer? And the kids. If you have been raising them with love and teaching them to accept others anyway, can’t they be trusted to come around –eventually? Coming out actually gives everyone around you the opportunity to be better, because they love you. Gay or straight. Once you are empowered with that, you are empowered to do so much more with that clear headspace!

    1. I agree completely! But I know that everyone has a different “tipping point” that they have to find for themselves regarding their timetable for coming out. In my experience, it’s when love overcomes the fear that you have built up in your mind. Once you can truly love yourself exactly how you are, then you can get past the fear barrier to coming out. I love this quote from what you said, too: “Coming out actually gives everyone around you the opportunity to be better, because they love you.” Exactly! Thanks for your great comments on this topic!

  3. jerrib70

    I agree those of us that come out later in life have it a little harder and we do seem to lose so much more (families, jobs, friends). The relief of not hiding was so great for me. I am just really connecting with the community and have not figured out how much different the coming out is between the different groups within the spectrum of LGBT but have found the group of Lesbians I have found have made it much easier.

  4. Pingback: Start Here Now | A Late Life Lesbian Story

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