Happy National Coming Out Day

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To the people who can’t be themselves…

To the people who are judged by who they love…

To the people who are looked down on as a lesser person…

To the ones who are scared…

To the ones who are depressed…

To the people who feel like they can’t smile…

To the people who feel like they don’t belong…

To the ones who cry every night…

The ones who feel like they aren’t enough…

The people who feel out of place…

The people who have suicidal thoughts…

To the people without a support system…

Just know…

We Are Here For You!

I don’t have a coming out story. I never thought I needed to officially announce it, and I kind of still don’t, but I know how important this can be for our people. I mean, when you think about it, I guess I “come out” on a regular basis (Note the irony of this whole thing).  Life as an LGBTQ person can be hard as hell and as you’re reading this, I hope your mind is actually understanding the words, rather than making judgments and assumptions about what I’m currently typing.

LGBTQ people face the challenges listed above on a daily basis just because of who we are and who we love.  Unfortunately, this personal aspect of life gets the negative attention of so many people in the world.  But living life should be all about showing and spreading love to others, not hate. Coming out is an important step in that, where we are finally open to loving ourselves as we are; and even if we don’t make a big announcement, it’s just as important for those times where we share it privately with family and friends.  Some of these challenges listed above can be caused by not loving who we are and this is why Coming Out is such an important moment. It’s a heart wrenching moment though, no matter how old we are because we never really know how people are going to react.

Yes, in 2017, we’re still worried about how people react, even if everyone seems to be “progressive”.  There are still evil people in this world that will wish the worst on us just because of this.  It’s still a real thing.

And as we get older and as we tell more people, that worry goes away, and we tend to not care as much for what people think of us, but that comes with time.  But even though that initial struggle is over, we still face challenges. Discriminatory, hateful, and judgmental behaviors are still no stranger to our community, as well as a slew of other BS that we have to fight through. And even though we feel like giving up, we keep fighting. We fight and fight until we win.  It’s worth it because WE’RE worth it.

It took me too long to realize that.

Coming out is only the beginning, and from there things may get harder, but they will definitely get better. I know that’s contradictory, but you’ll understand. When you can live life with no regard of what others think about you, and you finally feel that weight being lifted off of your shoulders.  It’s magical. I felt as if I have finally gained control of my own life.

It’s a beautiful moment.

So I’m standing here (or sitting, because I’m typing), as a member of this wonderful community. The one with happy smiling faces, that also tends to frown sometimes because of idiots who comment on news articles, to say that you are not alone and we are here for you!

Happy Coming Out Day!

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An Open Apology to my Future Partner…

Dear future partner,

I feel I have to apologize already and odds are I haven’t even met you. I apologize for the walls you are going to have to get through, as I feel myself building them even as I write this. It’s a protective measure. My soul, at this point, cannot handle the idea of someone not being you. And so the fortress is being built around my heart quicker than I can even try to tear it down. 
People always said this would happen. That I was one more bad heartbreak from giving up altogether. I don’t know if I’ve reached the absolute end of my rope yet. I still have a slight case of hope the bubbles up occasionally. But I feel it dwindling fast. And while I still have a slight grip on the rope, I can feel the frayed ends close by. I’m trying to hold on…but it’s hard. 
Here is a list of things I’m not sure of as it pertains to you: 

1. If you actually exist. 

2. If you will be willing to break through the barrier. 

3. What parts you’ll even come with now. 

4. If I’ll recognize you when you show up. 

5. If I deserve it anyways. 
So I don’t know where this is going. Maybe it’s less of an apology and more of a warning. I know it will be hard. I know it will be difficult. I know it might not seem worth it. I know you’ll consider walking away. 
I don’t know if this will go away. I don’t know how high the walls will grow. 
I know I feel as if you are getting a broken version of what you deserve. Of what was once there. Before I only felt cracked. These days I feel destroyed. It comes and goes. I know I should work on glueing myself together so that I can be whole whenever you do show up. I know I’ve started, but it’s a lot easier said than done. I know I shouldn’t be so concerned about your lack of presence and that I should “wait on Jesus.” 
I’m sorry for being broken. I’m sorry for being a mess. I’m sorry for trying to make all of these other people you, when they weren’t you, and so now I’m holding it against you. I’m sorry for apologizing so much. I’m sorry for the walls. I’m sorry. 
I can’t promise much. I promise it’ll be tough. I promise it’ll suck. I promise I will try to help you tear the walls down. I promise though, that if you succeed, I will love your fiercely and completely and with all my tiny broken pieces. 
I’m sorry for the rambling…

Hope

The soft silk of hope
Drapes my heart
Like fresh sheets on bare legs
wrapped in the scent of cautious optimism,
Like the subtle scent of your favorite detergent.
As the sunrises, reminders of new days and
New beginnings, fill your soul.
And just like how you forget and then remember how
the faintness of soft, clean fabric
feels like a breath of fresh air;
Gentle and coy,
Such is the first touch of fragile hope.

-LeAnna

Photo credit: David Mao