What would you tell your closeted self before you came out if you had the chance?
However you decided to come out… “It will all be okay in the end”
This is a difficult letter to write; not because I don’t know what to say – future you always knows what to say – rather because I know how scared and lost you are feeling right now. At the moment you’re at the very end of a long and dark tunnel, the light is just ahead of you, tauntingly close, yet terrifyingly far. Yet, I’m here, surrounded by many LGBT brothers and sisters who have been exactly where you are right now, and Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, and I, would like to chorus you with another message of “It will all be okay in the end”.
The fact of the matter is that you’ve already been through the hardest part of this journey. You’ve done all the leg-work – figuring out who you are, hiding who you are, and accepting who you are, all being key steps along the way. Now you’re finding yourself at the final step, and it’s potentially the biggest, the Neil Armstrong of steps if you will.
Coming Out can feel terrifying. It’s like there’s a bomb formed of glitter, and rainbows, and pride waiting to go off inside of you. As fun as that bomb might sound, you’re probably going to struggle to get past the fact that it’s still a bomb in its truest form – and bombs have a fairly sturdy reputation of ruining things. You’re going to be scared that this truth is going to destroy well-formed friendships and tear apart your family, I mean, we’ve all heard the unfortunate stories, after all.
Thankfully those stories seem fewer and further between one another nowadays, it is 2016 after all, so anyone who does have an issue with absolutely anyone coming out can jump right back up into their own arsehole where that opinion belongs – and you can feel free to send them my way if you want me to tell them that myself.
Still, it’s a worrisome, tiring, and anxiety-filled time for you so let’s get right back to the point that there is nothing to be afraid of. A big point of advice, stop fretting so much about how you do it. Trust me, you’re the only one who thinks it will matter if people get the News through a letter, an open status, or a big gay rainbow cake. Just find a way that enables you to remain comfortable and in control, and go for it.
Sure, you might not want to take advice from someone who came out via a very subtle post-it note, but that’s your decision.
I found the least scary way to do it for myself and I did it because that is exactly where I was at that point. Also, never forget that this is all for you. This is your truth, and your life, so it is up to you entirely how you do it, when you do it, and how many people you do it to (pun intended).
You might come out to everyone at once, or a few people at a time, hell, there might even be some people you never come out to.
Remember, however, you want to do it, it’s fine – and it really will all be okay in the end.
Welcome to the team, kid.
Twenty-Five Year Old You, Ellen, and Neil
(But really just you.)
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