I’ve detailed some of my coming out process in an earlier post, but I wanted to come back to it again. The coming out process is just that: a process. It never truly ends and only sometimes gets easier. But it’s important to do, to share, and to support.
In my search for things to do, I rekindled my romance with YouTube and watched pretty much anything ever recorded by Hannah Hart. I first came to love Hannah because of her My Drunk Kitchen videos (a lifelong goal of mine is to record one of these with Hannah and also host my own inebriated cooking show).
This video is really just an aside because I think it’s important that everyone see it. Also, it’s the very first episode, so you’ve got hours of laughter and enjoyment ahead.
I had known for a while that Hannah identified as a lesbian, but it really wasn’t a big part of her videos. And then I found her secondary channel where she discusses much more personal topics, vlogs her trips, and challenges her fans (the Hartosexuals) to do good.
While perusing the channel, I found her Coming Out series. Started in November 2012, this was Hannah’s way to address her sexuality and explain some of her background. Since then, she has posted a total of six videos, the most recent last month.
That last video, taken backstage at the LGBTQA+ panel at VidCon2014, really inspired this post.
I’ve decided to share the entire playlist because it’s just that important. But skip ahead to the sixth video if you need to save time.
Why I’m Sharing My Story
On Friday, while doing everything I could to stay awake at work, I saw a post by someone, who identifies as gay, asking why it was everyone felt the need to “come out” because, as he said, “it’s not like you would do it if you were straight.”
I sat at my desk saying to myself over and over agin, “Of course it’s important for people to come out!” After several minutes of fuming and outright frustration (which I apparently didn’t hide very well, judging by my administrative assistant’s concern), I had a sort of breakthrough.
I decided to re-watch Hannah’s story. I was thinking about how important it is for all openly queer people to share their story. I remember when I was coming to terms with my sexuality thinking how I had no idea what to say or do because I didn’t know anyone who had come out.
Why do people feel the need to come out and make their sexuality known? Because simply loving themselves is completely radical. Because other people need to know that they can also be exactly who they are and still find happiness, love, and support. Because it’s important for people to know who I really am. It’s important for me to let go of this secret and to share it with the world. It’s important for me to begin living my life, not upholding this facade I’ve created.
It is important that people know I am not ashamed to be exactly who I am. It is important that people do not assume I fit their stereotypes. And perhaps most importantly, I want every young person I encounter to know they can be out, happy, and successful, too.
How I’m Sharing My Story
I’m still struggling and trying to figure out the best way to do this. My story, like most, is very long and contains both good and bad. I’m thinking I might make a YouTube video, or I might just write several smaller-ish posts.
In any case, I hope that with each post on this blog, I reach just one more person. I haven’t spoken with each of my family members about my sexuality and don’t intend to. But I do intend to make it known to each of them that they know and (I hope) love an openly gay person who, just like them, dreams of success, love, and family.