It’s time you finally did it.
And I don’t just mean if you're LGBT. I mean anyone, who has had a victimizing experience, and no longer feels safe in his own country. We no longer can afford the time to worry about how others are going to be affected, when millions of us are currently being dismissed.
I want every Jew, Muslim, LGBT person, racial minority, survivor of sexual assault, and anyone else who has felt as if they’ve had to hide part of themselves, to come out of the closet, and share their story!
Before I go any further, let me make it abundantly clear that coming out of the closet in whatever way you may need to, (whether it’s LGBT, dealing with sexual abuse, feeling discriminated against, problems with your family, eating disorders, or anything else), doesn’t always mean you’ll be met with acceptance, safety, or love. You must be aware of this, especially right now.
Furthermore, if you’re seriously worried about any of these things, especially your safety, then I highly encourage you to seek professional help from amazing organizations like the Hetrick Martin Institute, the Ali Forney Center, the Trevor Project, the Human Rights Center, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, EarthJustice, The Young Center of Immigrant Children’s Rights, or many other organizations that you can find by googling whatever it is you may need assistance with.
I know it’s scary, but too many people around us are clueless to how they’re affecting us, their loved ones. Even worse, maybe their not, but a reminder wouldn’t hurt.
We need to show, not only our country, but the world, how many people are truly being affected by what’s happening with the shift towards a White Supremacist Movement. You may have heard it defined as “alt-right,” but let’s call a spade a spade. This is simply a branding mechanism to hide the fact that our political system here in the US, is employing white supremacy.
This is not ok!
This is not what America stands for. This is not progressive, and it’s affecting majority of our country at this point, not a minority.
If you’re still not sure how your “coming-out” is going to help make change, let me share a bit of my story to explain further.
When I came out of the closet as a gay man, I remember being mortified because I had to challenge everything I had learned to be “normal.” I had to rethink the idea of sex, my body, having children, getting married, how people would act towards me, and basically everything else I could imagine. It was beyond scary.
Yet, something inside of me knew that I had to do it.
My own aha moment came when I was living in LA, and pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. I was surrounded by gay men and women, but for some reason, I kept being told to stay in the closet, if I wanted to have a career.
This was mind-boggling to me because it wasn’t a bunch of straight people telling me this, it was my gay manager, my gay agent, gay producers, and gay directors. I had finally come to terms with something I had been fighting for so long, yet these people, who were like me, wanted me to pretend to be something else.
I’m sorry, WHAT?
That’s when I knew that my career in the entertainment world, or at least how I imagined it up until that point was over. I refused to be a part of something so twisted, and inauthentic. That’s just not who I am, and that’s not who I’ll ever be.
And this’s not who you are, and it’s not who you will ever be.
By hiding who we really are, we’re saying to ourselves, and the world, that we agree with the idea that we’re wrong for being ourselves.
Maybe you’ve already “come out,” and maybe you’re really comfortable being yourself, but let’s not forget we can always take things one step further. Thus, I challenge you to share your story in the biggest way you can possibly think of.
When I finally decided to write my coming out letter to the world, and post it on my Facebook, and later have it published all over the internet, I finally felt like I took back the power that I had given to so many bullies, tormentors, and oppressors over the course of my life. I made it so I could never hide again. I no longer idly sat by, and let others tell me who I should be, or how I should feel, and that’s why you need to come out now.
You need to take back your power from our future government officials, and their supporters, who areessentially trying to take your identity away from you. You need to stand up, and own your story. You no longer should feel victimized by an insane notion that because you aren’t a straight white male that you are less than.
Black lives do matter. Women should have the right to decide what happens to their bodies. Being transgender is part of a new normal. If you were ever sexually assaulted, remember it’s never your fault. If you identify as LGBT, it’s because you were born this way. Religion is a form of self-expression. Not everyone who lives in America, was born in America.
This is what makes us great.
When you finally share whatever your deep dark secret is with others, I promise you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted, and it will inspire those around you to do the same. You may not realize it right away, but you will have ignited something in the arenas you live in.
You’ll no longer feel trapped by the fact that someone is going to “find out” because you now own whatever it is that you’ve been scared to share with the world.
You must remember that you’re an influencer, no matter how big or small your audience is, you still have the power to positively shape how others think, and that is powerful.
Too many of us have hidden in a small dark closet for far too long. Now’s truly the time to set yourself free, and wear your identity proudly. Make others uncomfortable with your story because it reminds them that maybe the things they’ve been thinking, doing, sharing, preaching, or participating in, are in fact wrong.
Lastly, when you do find the courage, strength, and gumption to be uniquely yourself, in a world that wants you to homogenize, know that there are truly millions of people ready to welcome you with open arms.
The world is a good place, filled with amazing people, and you’re one of those people. Never forget that!
Now, all that’s left to do, is for you to tell your story, and remember, if it petrifies you than it means you’re meant to do it!