Tuesday, October 12, 2010

...on Coming Out day

(i intended to write this yesterday, since it's a little reflection on national coming-out day, but since i spent yesterday at work, then completely insomniac and mentally dead, and then finally asleep from about 3-midnight, things didn't quite work out as planned.)

generally, i can't stand awareness-themed days. disease-awareness, children-awareness, such-and-such-a-sexuality-awareness, human-rights-issue-awareness...all those days usually end up driving me crazy because people try to pressure me into paying lip service to causes. if you actually care about an issue, you work it into your life every single day, and don't spend a day a week doing meaningless gestures like "donating" your facebook status or waving a sign for whatever the cause du jour happens to be.

however, i pretty much love national coming-out day. it's the one awareness-related observance that i can personally get behind, mainly because it doesn't feel like an empty gesture to me. it's not like most awareness-related days, where any observance i made of it would be something along the lines of "i'm saying something about it because it's this one day, and the other 364 days a year i put no thought whatsoever into it." instead, it actually feels like a way to start conversations about an issue that's very personal to me, an issue i think, read, and talk about on a daily basis.

i spent years in the closet because i wasn't comfortable enough with myself to tell people that i was bisexual, and i wasn't comfortable enough in my connections with other people to be confident that they'd be okay with it, instead of just thinking i was saying it for the attention. i remember how much it hurt to not be open or honest about my sexuality i frequently have discussions with people about sexuality: exploring it, figuring it out, becoming comfortable with it, and figuring out how open to be about it. i truly care about being in a world where people are comfortable enough to come to terms with their own sexuality, whatever it may happen to be.

in short, i like national coming out day because it's not an empty observance for me. it touches on something i care about every day out of the year. however, the reason i like the day is because it's personal. i'm never going to try and guilt someone else into doing something empty in observance of coming-out day, because i know how onboxious it is when people try to guilt me into doing something empty to draw attention to their causes (or, worse, draw attention to some cause that they're only emptily drawing attention to). i just let all the other this-and-that days blow past, because no matter how many guilt trips people post in their facebook statuses, twitter feeds, or blogs...it would ring empty for me to tout that cause, since it's nothing i put any actual effort behind.

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