The idea of announcing something as natural as breathing always baffled me. I was fazed by how people make a big deal out of non-heterosexuality. I simply didn’t see the point in ‘coming out’. “Straight people don’t come out, why should we?” I always asked.
But that was then. I grew up to understand that there’s a need to come out.
As long as we’re born into a world that assumes we’re straight at birth, we will have to come out one day. We don’t do this because we’re ‘advertising’ our sexualities or we think there’s something special about them that the world should know. Instead, we do this in the hope that we’ll at least be accepted, especially by our immediate families (most of us couldn’t care less what everyone else thinks about this).
Unfortunately, coming out even to one’s own family is easier said than done. Many who intend to come out to their families already know, to some extent, what the reaction will be. It’s easy to figure that out because you’ve sat at a dinner table with your grandmother who always disses queer people. You’ve heard your father saying if he were to have a gay kid, he’d kick him/her out of his house. You’ve witnessed your mother being horribly mean to an openly gay person. And when you finally come out to your sister, she says: “I’m disappointed!”
As sad as it gets for most people, coming out is necessary because it helps normalise the reality that queer people exist and will always exist. The tears shed by our fellow non-straight people when they get rejected for who they are, will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of acceptance.
Acceptance so great that one day, we will just show up at home with a lover and say: “Mom, dad, this is my girlfriend/boyfriend” to which they will simply reply: “Does he/she make you happy?” One day we will not have to come out of the closet, we will just say “I’m in love” and that will be all that matters.
That day is manifesting slowly but surely. It will come to a full manifestation sooner than we expect. I believe my generation will make this a reality. And when it happens, those who can’t accept it will just have to find a way to catch up to the rest of us!