What does Coming Out means to me?
I have been sitting in front of my computers trying to figure an answer to this, but wasn’t too successful in gathering my thoughts. Well, how about this – What does NOT BEING ABLE TO COME OUT mean to me?
I can answer this question faster – It is simple a selfish act.
And yes, coming out was something I wasn’t able to do for a long time. In fact, it wasn’t until about a year ago that I have came out to my family.
Why do I think it is selfish NOT to come out? Because you are simply not being truthful about who you are to those who truly love and care about you. You are simply denying them a change to get to really know you. Like it or not, they deserve to know. Let me illustrate my point with my personal experience.
It was about a year ago when I had a horrible breakup with someone whom I truly loved. I was shattered in pieces and I was at the lowest point of my life. I turned to my family for emotional support, and told my mother that I had a failed love relationship. Of course my mother failed to understand that I was dating a guy not a girl.
For months, my mother gave me unless support in every single possible way, but I couldn’t come to tell her the truth. I could not feel more horrible inside as I knew I was simply lying the whole time to my mother, whom I know would love me anyway despite of preference. I was just being terribly selfish.
So one evening, when I was chatting with my mother like friends at a café, my mother was sharing some of her personal experiences and point of view about relationships. Sitting there listening to her, I just couldn’t hold it back anymore, and came out to my mother, apologizing for not telling her the truth. My mother, who truly loved me, just didn’t care less about my preference – she simply wished I was happy for who I am.
I was really relieved and grateful to have such understanding parent to whom I no long need to be in denial of who I am.
It is an unfortunate fact that awareness and acceptance about homosexuality is still relatively low in Japan comparing to most other developed country. It is also one of the few developed countries in which gay marriage is not legally recognized. It is almost heart breaking seeing some important public figures such as politicians in Japan stating that homosexuality is abnormal on their Twitters. Under such circumstances, it is really not easy for gay people to simply be who they are, not to even mention being outspoken about their sexual preference.
For those who still are not able to tell others about your preference, I understand it takes a lot of time and courage. And I really don’t believe that coming out means you go have to wear a label saying you are gay. There is no need to make a public announcement about your sexuality whether you are gay or not. But for those who truly care about you, please understand that they deserve to know. You will be surprise how little it will affect their affections towards you, because if you matter to them, they will simply love you for who you are. You will know when the time is right.