Day 32 of #100Daychallenge
Coming out means your friends and family know you deeper, know you better. But it’s not just about sexual orientation. We can come out about anything that we keep hidden. I notice it when I talk in generic terms like the closeted gay man who talks about his ‘friend’ in gender neutral pronouns. When I came out as gay, I knew the closet very well. Now I find myself being closeted about different things in different contexts. With my family, I am unlikely to talk about my paganism or my druidry. And currently with a lot of my non-pagan friends, I’m quite closeted about my exploration of polyamory.
I swore a number of years ago that I would never again be closeted about my sexuality, and that is now true, with everyone apart from my grandmother. Being closeted is a horrible experience. It’s exhausting. It’s also soul destroying telling yourself that parts of your life, that are so central to who you are in the world, are not really that important, or even shameful. We tell lies like “I don’t want x to define me”. That’s shame. Fuck that.
My druidry is a huge part of my life and I am more and more out about it. Coming out takes effort. It is so easy to closet myself about things. With my druidry, I presumed people would be suspicious, and I’d find myself endlessly defending or explaining. It didn’t happen like that. The first few times I named it, maybe, but after that I became more confident, and better at explaining it too. I’ve found that as long as I’m comfortable with it, most people are too.
And now, I find myself being closeted about my existing relationships. I notice that in a few meetups with friends I’ve skirted around the subject. I’ve hidden love. It’s true, I’m not being hard on myself here. As much as I’ve said above, it’s very much okay to be closeted about something while you’re still figuring it out. And I’m in a position where I’m still feeling out the boundaries, and the ethics of it all. But I want to talk it out. I want to be honest with my friends that the “friend” is actually my lover, or that I like you in more ways than friendship. I want to be able to talk about the state of my heart without fear of judgement or ridicule. And I want to do all this in an ethically sound way – no one being outed who doesn’t want to be.
Over the coming weeks, I will be exploring those conversations. Slowly and gently, learning each time, finding safety, being true to the state of my heart, I find new ways to say ‘this is me’.