After dipping into a part of my coming out narrative last week I started thinking about all of the times I had to come out to friends, family, and co-workers and how they have reacted.
I’ve realized a long time ago that whomever you are coming out to tends to make it about them, but under further review I realized that every straight person I’ve come out to has gone through virtually the same process in reacting and dealing with the my gayness.
The process, in my opinion, is absolutely hilarious.
Step 1 – How does this make them feel?
Coming out has really never been about me, which by itself could be its own blog post. I tend to get “Oh I knew” or ” Why didn’t you tell me sooner, you didn’t trust me? “I’m totally okay with it”.
Well… yes I figured you are a decent human being and you won’t completely reject who I am. As far as the trust “issue” I also find that extremely entertaining. Straight people have no idea what it’s like to be afraid of that kind of hate and rejection… but yes it’sdefinitely all about you.
Step 2 – They are totally accepting of the LGBT community
I’ve only had a few bad coming out experiences, so I’m not even going to touch on those experiences. After they get over the shock of me coming out and telling me that they don’t suck as human beings,I get showered with pro-LGBT centered articles. “I saw that New Jersey got marriage equality, isn’t that great?” ” Did you see the article on Huffington Post about that gay House representative?”
I really do appreciate them sharing all of this information with me, but especially when it’s my family sharing, I have usually read the article two weeks before someone emails it to me. I would much rather get emails about Doctor Who news, I’m not so quick on that.
Step 3 – Proceed to show me how open minded they are by specifically talking about my love life / girlfriend.
This step specifically applies to my extended family and general acquaintances. Anyone who knows me really well knows that I don’t want to be specifically catered to because of my sexuality. I get told to make sure I bring my girlfriend, when none of my siblings or cousins my age have that reiterated to them. I’m not offended by it, but making my relationship a special snowflake compared to the rest of them doesn’t actually show acceptance.
I do understand I’m dealing with cultural and generational differences when I’m coming out and navigating through my family. I certainly know that most of them are trying their best since I’m the first openly out person on either side of my family.
I know I need to patient with their processes, but it the meantime, I’m just going to laugh at how ridiculous my family is.