This is an old joke, at least for me, so I apologize to all of you who have heard it a million times from me before.
October 11th is National Coming Out Day. 38 years ago, I celebrated by emerging from my mother’s vagina, some time around 3:13pm.
In case it needs stating, which I hope to Gods it doesn’t, I am queer. Not only do I use that term to help reclaim it from those who use it against QUILTBAG* people, but I also use it both because I do not limit who I create intimacy with by gender identity (including and especially those who specifically create their own), but because I reject the socially expected concepts of how relationships “should” be defined, instead allowing whatever emotional and physical intimacies I create with other people to become whatever feels most comfortable for us. All of my close relationships are queer in some way – a life partner I am not married to (nor do I plan to marry), a boyfriend who has a primary relationship with a Deity (which I promise I will post about very soon), a girlfriend who is a sacred whore, a slave with whom I have delved into a 24/7 power exchange relationship with (before she lived on her own and although our power exchange was always there, she didn’t experience submission as a daily activity), and many more I’m still trying to figure out the right words for.
I am also completely and totally out not only about my queerness, but about all aspects of my sexual orientation and gender identity. Last year on this day, I dropped the most recent bomb on my blessed mother – she had already weathered learning I was queer, poly, kinky, spiritual in a non-traditional way, a hook suspension artist, and a published author on these topics; however, I had yet to tell her about my masculine identity. She supports and loves me, but it’s been a tougher thing for her to come to terms with. She just recently called me to ask me how to spell my new name, because she still uses my birth name; and she still uses feminine pronouns and referential words for me (like “daughter”), but she’s working on it.
I am not ashamed of my queerness; in fact, I embrace it. I believe it is a spiritual imperative for me – I am the real word, tangible representation that people can actually come out to their loved ones about whatever makes them different or strange compared to the completely invented ideal of “Joe Average” and survive.
One of the hidden blessings of my marriage breaking up is that the last places I had to subvert who I was for someone else was stripped away. Although his parents knew I preferred to be called “Del”, they did not know about my gender identity, and I do not believe it was ever his plan to inform them. Also, at work, I was still his “wife”. I never judged him for his decisions, but I do feel a bit more free that I will never again have to hide who I am in order to make someone else feel more comfortable about being in a relationship with me.
What I love the most is that I feel like the concept of the “queer life” didn’t really exist in the zeitgeist when I was coming of age. I came into my homosexuality in a community that was very gendered – not just “gay boys go to this bar, lesbians go over to the other bar”, but even among lesbians it was very butch/femme. This confounded me because I was a butch who was more attracted to other butches, which was a complete no-no. And don’t get me started when I started sleeping with men.
I am so happy with my life today, not only because I’m getting ready to enter my fourth decade with a clear vision of who I am in relation to other people and the world; I have a grip (if not a clear view) on what my Purpose is and how to manifest that in my life and in the lives of those I wish to serve; and I have come to a place of comfort with the kind of life I want to live and think much less about what random people who aren’t a part of my life think of my choices.
So regardless of whether you’re Queer, Unsure, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/sexual, Bisexual, Asexual, or Gay (that QUILTBAG thing I referred to earlier); or if you’re kinky, polyamorous, gender variant, a cross dresser, drag royalty, or some other sexual or gender minority, tell someone. Even if it’s just being truthful with yourself and maybe the intimate people in your life.
Maybe you haven’t told someone about your spirituality, or that you’re a Godspouse, or a spirit worker, or a Pagan, or a High Priestess, or something else that you’ve been afraid to admit to those who desperately want to love you. Or maybe it’s something like being a gamer (like that woman in Maine who was just outed by the Republicans as being a WoW player), or a LARPer, or a furry, or an ageplayer, or secretly paint murals at night.
Everyone has something a little queer about them. I encourage you to post your queerness in the comments, to share with the world in what way you stand out from the heternormative assumptions about humanity.
I know it’s not what your post as about, but as a parent, I’d like to high five your mom. It can’t be anything but monumentally difficult to change pronouns for someone whose butt you cleaned hourly for several years. Even if it takes a while, and even if she gets it wrong much of the time forever, I give her huge respect for trying. Both of you are very lucky.