Tomorrow is National Coming Out Day, but because my next two days are already full of meetings, calls, and presentations, I’m putting this post out a day early (or it won’t happen).
Some of you may say, “Lyric, we KNOW you’re Queer, you don’t have to come out! Didn’t you ALREADY come out nonbinary/gender fluid in the summer of 2020?”
While the statement above is technically true, what some people don’t understand about coming out is:
Coming out is NOT something any of us will do “just once” and then “never have to do it again.” I WISH!
I started this blog by coming out as Autistic and was also an out pansexual human from the beginning (so these two parts of my identity will probably be no surprise to most people who’ve been here a while).
A few years later, I also publicly came out polyamorous online (something that’s never been a secret to people who knew me well).
People still don’t react well to polyamory.
I have had friends and family members tell me “not to tell their partners” about “my lifestyle” because they “don’t want them to get any ideas” -as if polyamory is contagious.
It shouldn’t surprise me that people think polyamory is contagious, considering there’s been a lot of talk about “social contagion” (resulting from “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” a proposed condition that attributes adolescent gender distress to exposure to transgender people through friends or social media) in relation to Queer and NeuroDivergent People recently.
Though the APA (American Psychological Association) and numerous healthcare providers and organizations signed a letter in 2021 denouncing the validity of “social contagion” and “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) as a clinical diagnosis, people are still pushing this theory on both Queer and NeuroDivergent People (even though evidence has shown that “social contagion” is not causing more people to become Queer (or NeuroDivergent).
Despite lies and misinformation, the concept of “social contagion” continues to be used to justify anti-trans legislation across the U.S.
Eventually, I came out nonbinary (genderfluid, if you want to get specific) in the summer of 2020 (a daunting task after publicly playing the part of a woman in so many people’s eyes for several years).
People wanted me to stay the person they were used to seeing, they didn’t want me to change (but I’ve always been who I am, it just took me years to find a language to describe myself and feel safe enough to share that person with the world).
I’ve been living outside of all my closets ever since.
Coming out has been freeing, but it’s also been trying because of how much hate comes my way, simply for existing in public.
The growing movement against trans people has brought a bunch of hate and negativity my way. I occasionally get “casual death threats” (luckily with no follow through so far) and I’m called a groomer and told to “leave the children alone” at least once or twice a week (even though I don’t make content for children).
Being openly nonbinary has been more difficult than being openly Queer in other facets of my life (because of how much doubt, gatekeeping, and disbelieving non-binary people are real, both inside and outside the Queer communities – even from other trans people who believe gender is always binary).
Unfortunately, sometimes the people you think (hope) will be safe aren’t always safe. It can be tricky to know if someone will accept you or judge you harshly, thinking less of you when you tell them you’re Queer (regardless of what flavor Queer you are).
For those of us who feel safe enough to live “outside of the closet,” coming out is something we will choose to do (or NOT to do) repeatedly our entire lives.
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