You were not. You are not.
Over the past year I have been the recipient of confusion, resentment, and even TEARS from important (and not so important) people in my life who were upset that I did not “come out” to them. I’ve even had people try to take it upon themselves to out me to…. myself. To all of them, to these people with the gall, the nerve, the outrageously unchecked privileged that allowed them to take one of my marginalized identities and a tumultuous time in MY life and make it about THEM, I have a question: how dare you? That is practically the definition of privilege.
In my opinion, the entire idea of a particular, special “coming out” moment or conversation a queer individual is supposed to have with individuals or groups of people in their lives (or in the case of celebrities, with the WORLD) is a ridiculous and heteronormative construction that unfairly makes what is already a difficult and intense time in a person’s life even more stressful. The sweat, the anxiety, the questions of Where? When? How? as if you are getting down on one knee and popping the big question to dozens of people- who has the time or energy for that?
When straight people start pulling me aside, inviting me to coffee for a special talk, or posting Facebook statuses to tell me they are straight, maybe I will see this differently. But they do not. When straight female-identified folks realize they like little boys do they sit their mother down on the couch to inform her of this revelation? Do they pass a note around their fourth grade class to let everyone know? No. They just start talking about their crushes, dancing with boys at parties, and going on dates. That’s all I did when I realized I am attracted people other than men, and that’s what I will continue to do.
I can count the people who I have “come out to” one hand, and they were unique cases- perhaps they were abroad when some things changed or maybe I felt telling them would make them feel more comfortable with their own sexual identity. Aside from these folks, almost no one in my life received a special announcement on the topic of my queerness.
My mother did not.
My best friends did not.
My line sisters did not.
People who I know to be allies did not.
People who believe everyone in the LGBTQ community is possessed by a demon did not.
And as many a queer can tell you, even individuals within the LGBTQ community itself did not.
So if you thought you were entitled to the delivery of a personalized Coming Out Cupcake, you should get over yourself and sit the fuck down.
I am a woman living at the intersections of blackness, queerness, and disability. As such I am entitled to do or not do, say or not say, reveal or not reveal, whatever makes me feel most safe and validated in those identities at any given time. I’m just trying to live my life out here. Happy National Coming Out Day.