How I spent National Coming Out Day

Another year, another National Coming Out Day.

I’ve long since stopped making a big production out of coming out, and I don’t really even have anyone to come out to anymore. No one important, anyway. The people who should know, know. The people who don’t? Meh.

More than anything, I guess I tend to come out via actions rather than words, to acquaintances, or random strangers on the street or wherever. I don’t make much of an effort to hide affection for my partner, although I also don’t go out of my way to show it, either. I have no idea who I’m actually out to anymore. Who is clever enough to put two and two together? Certainly not that one chatty grocery store cashier, who asked us if we live together and took it to mean that we’re roommates. But our next door neighbors probably more or less get it, because they’re a lesbian couple with two kids.

I don’t really bother coming out about asexuality anymore, most of the time. If I happen to meet another ace, I’ll come out. I wear an ace ring sometimes. Occasionally I might make a casual reference, but mostly nobody gets it, and I don’t care to explain. I just don’t have the energy to get into it, for the most part.

This year, I was pretty much by myself doing work all day. I read some Amy Lowell poetry and got mad about heteronormative interpretations of her work and homophobic smear campaigns leveled at her. If you don’t know her work, check it out. It’s well worth the read. She was also one of those women who engaged in Boston marriages, and if you’re interested in learning more, here is a great article that focuses on that aspect of her life.

I feel it’s pretty appropriate to spend some time thinking today about historical Sisters who came before us, obliquely open, veiled but still brazenly living their lives. These days, I often feel like I’m in a liminal space between out and not-out in my everyday life, but really I’m able to be a lot more open about all of these things, if I feel like it, than they were, and that’s thanks to all of those who have come before. I want to honor their efforts today.

National Coming Out Day

“It’s like Valentine’s Day for queer people,” C joked. In that the people who are already out shout about it from the rooftops, and the people who aren’t already out usually feel kinda bad about it and wish they were.

This post doesn’t have much more of a point than to make that joke, really. But I guess to give it some more substance, I’ll say this: sometimes, people have really horrible, awful, terrible reactions when you come out. Yes, as asexual, too. It’s really, really NOT just “annoying at best” as so many would like to think that it is. I never talk about what my father said when I came out to him as asexual. You know why?

Because he said, “You’ll change your mind the first time you get raped.” Direct quote.

Isn’t that delightful?

Anyway, I guess the point of this post is, while I suppose it’s nice to have a day for coming out and spreading awareness and all, let’s just try not to pressure the people who aren’t totally out, all right? Because some people have a very good reason not to bother, and we ought to remember it’s perfectly understandable to make that choice, too. Just like there’s nothing wrong with being single on Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing wrong with being closeted on Coming Out Day, either. It’s totally awesome if you choose to come out today, and I hope things go well! But if not, don’t feel bad about it or pressured to do it anyway. Do it on your own terms, but only if you want to.

And because I realize this is kind of a depressing and cynical post, here. Watch sneaky kitty!

The internet, as it turns out, isn’t actually for porn. It’s for posting cats.

(By the way, I suppose I should say that I’m way over this reaction by now. I think it’s been five years, or something like that. I mostly don’t talk about it because other people are shocked and find it depressing. It’s a mood killer, nobody wants to hear it, and because of that I suppose it’s somewhat taboo. But to me, it’s just a fact of life.)