There really aren’t any coincidences.
On October 11, 2000, National Coming Out Day, I came out to my freshman floor at TCNJ. Slowly, half-jokingly, without much confidence…but I did it. I’d come out to a few folks on the floor beforehand. and I’d been out to a few friends in high school, but this was my first real step into owning this as a part of myself worth too much to hide.
On October 11, 2014, National Coming Out Day, I was baptized and confirmed at Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mercerville, NJ, as part of a “two-fer” ceremony, in which my baptism was the sidecar to my amazing priest’s Celebration of New Ministry. It was one of the scariest and most exhilarating days of my life.
My sexual orientation and my faith are huge keystones of my identity; they’re not the only ones, to be sure, but they are absolutely giant parts of my perspective and, in turn, how I’m perceived these days. And that’s not an accident. My profession, my vocation, my gig with The Guardian…it all circles back to these points.
And of course, I’m going to write about this more in the future. I’m so grateful that I have no problem these days living boldly into these parts of my life. I wish and want that for everyone; the parts of us that make us special and weird and different and noteworthy really start to suck if we hide them under a bushel.
So, I plaintively say, for all of us: Don’t. Celebrate the weird, within you, without you. Let it come out. And tell that story.
Sara Ramirez does this way better than I do, in song: