Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coming out on Thanksgiving

Hey everyone,

I just wrote a blog post for my work blog.  Don't worry, I'll still post here, too, but most of my sexuality-related material will likely be reserved for New Direction.  Here's the first few paragraphs, to get you hooked...


It happened again. I was watching an episode of the excellent new TV series “Transparent,” and Jeffrey Tambor’s character Maura was preparing to come out as a trans woman to her adult son, Josh. Maura stood on her balcony and watched Josh’s car pull up, and as she stepped back, anxiously considering what his reaction might be to seeing his dad as a woman for the first time, I suddenly noticed my own body reacting. My heart was pounding intensely. My palms glistened with sweat.
I remember the same thing happening this past Valentine’s Day when actress Ellen Page chose to tell the world she was gay near the end of her eight-minute speech at the Human Rights Campaign conference. By the time I watched it on YouTube, I had already heard she would be coming out during the speech, so I knew the reason for the tremor in her voice, the trembling in her hand, and the awkward posture of this usually composed and confident actress. And I felt it. For those agonizing few minutes, it was my quivering voice reading the words on the prompter, bringing me ever closer to that life-changing paragraph: “I am here… because I am gay.” And the elation and relief on her face after the audience gave her a standing ovation – those belonged to me, too.
I don’t know if I’m the only one who re-experiences the roller coaster of emotions of my own coming out every time I see someone new come out. Thankfully, my coming out experience was mainly positive, so the memories that are triggered, though stressful, are not traumatic. I grieve with my friends who cannot say the same. But even LGBTQ+ people who endured rejection when coming out can usually also point to some friends who offered them acceptance and unconditional love in that scary moment, and ended up becoming their lifelines during the rest of the coming out process.
I recently read Ben Moberg’s moving blog post reminiscing on his own coming out journey, in which he quotes some coming out advice from a friend of his: “Cherish these moments. You’ll want to hold them later on.”
One of my most cherished coming out moments happened during the Thanksgiving season...

Okay, now read the rest over at newdirection.ca!

1 comment:

Rachel Malena-Chan said...

How did I miss this when you first posted it? It's so beautiful, Beth- it brought tears of joy and makes me so proud. I love you both!!