Coming out in any time in the history of the world surely is full of challenges. We have pressure packed societies that maintain order and are suppose to exact justice for all. That’s how it should work.
How did humanity become so divided, that we exist in bubbles from each other? Ok, we all get the basics; the history and geography classes we took in high school should have given us a point of reference.
We know that humans evolved, by whatever means at their disposal. That they somehow figured out that staying put with the comfort of numbers, of growing and herding food, was better than aimlessly wandering the wilds. They needed to keep people in these groups, so laws, religions and social hierarchy became to be formed. Each group had their own concerns, challenges. People were people, no matter where and some things would occur…. Well, anyway, these early societies began to develop and grow.
Sex has always been a difficult issue, one we refuse to talk about but not ashamed to practice.
We would have our independent say about our bodies and who and what we did. We were in control of ourselves. This didn’t often sit well with leaders, political and religious alike. They believed they had the power over their people, that each one had a responsibility to serve these leaders. This seems to have substantially altered human evolution. That for the most part, sex was about reproduction, nothing more.
Fast forward, to the civilizations that forever shaped who and what we are: Britain, Rome, Greece, and all of those other greats of Asia. The most influence and dominance have come from these forces.
Each one set upon a path of it’s own. Religions took the reins of guidance and power. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, among others, have and still weld the might of nations and spiritualism. Here is where the waters of human existence get muddied.
The modern world has suffered untold maladies, witnessed horrors and atrocities unmentionable. All of which is far from over. We are in the midst of the middle bouts of battles on the war of human freedoms, acceptance, rights and openness.
How many of us from our own part of the world have looked out beyond the cages of our lives, and wondered if there were others like us? Maybe not everyone; maybe not yet. But at some point in being alive, we question ourselves, our world, and our role in it. Some question early, and seek answers. Most push it aside, to try to ignore it. Still, many more process the world and then it affects them later on; only now to add their own imposed feelings and responses from the society they now see in a different light.
Sex. We try to classify, to compartmentalize and categorize sex and how we define ourselves in regards to sex. It took scores of civilizations, of maturity and hardships to finally allow humans to be considered: straight, gay, bisexual, transgendered; even plain old queer.
To come out, is to put yourself out there, no just as another human being, but now labeled as something else. Straight folk have the advantage, as it is the core of sexuality. It is accepted that all of us are heterosexual, until we provide evidence to the contrary. How we talk, walk, laugh, run, drive, eat, dance, sing and shop- the list is endless. On these cold hard facts, we are judged as to our sexual orientation. We even have named the detection system used to weed out those not straight. Gay-dar. Intuition that often fails us, this is the secret weapon. Personality and intimate feelings of self, and subsequent expression of these aside, we are forever distracted by figuring each other out. Instead of coming out ourselves.
The idea of disclosure is a pure one. Humans are needy as well as independent. Some are ok with being ordinary. Of deception and protective of their privacy. Some embrace the world of their gender specific roles, and act accordingly. They can enjoy and be happy in their decision, or suffer dire consequences. Many will at some point stand up to the society in which they live, and place themselves in the line of view and scrutiny of the whole world, good and bad. We all come out, show the world who we are. True colours.
Family is a resource, as well a source of anguish. The younger and more certain the person, the more pressure on them, to paint a label on themselves. As to the position they will take so that others can pick their own spot. The ones who support, the ones who denounce and the ones who torture.
Outside of family, I never once regretted being openly gay. I found great open, loving and kind people, the most surprising, and the most refreshingly positive, were the men I knew. At work, in the real world, in the ‘mature’ world, I found wonderful experiences. But to strangers, on public transit, on public spaces, the bullies appeared. Not since school (college, to be sadly accurate) did some of the worst offenses to the weaker and lost souls really mark those souls. I was picked on endlessly. Mostly about being gay. I feel guilty, that I was not good at hiding the truth (because I believe I always knew in my heart), and they were punishing me for fibbing. If only it was that simple. I wonder. If I stood up and screamed loud that I was, would it have been different? One way or the other. But I took the easy way out of that situation, and suffered a lifetime of trying to have self-confidence and self worth.
The most important family learned the truth, when secrecy from my parents became less important. Both parents would never know the truth before the grave. I dream of the perfect family in which I could have been me, myself & I. But coming out to all of my family was the easiest thing. Suffering the worst pain of not being able to be myself to my parents, and the best feeling of being true to myself with my sisters and her family and of being loved. Everyone else is secondary. I love my family, but being wanted is great, but not mandatory.
Coming out is very personal, a decision that affects, effects and challenges the best of us. As humans, no matter where you live, in what society, in any time, we must be true to ourselves.
Sex is personal, but there has to be a common line each of us can start from, to share the goodness, and even the bad of life, to be kind to all.
If we all have a point of reference that we as individuals can grow from, then we will be better humans, for the future, for the species, and be honest and brave, to come out and feel the sun. To be stronger as people, as a family. To come out, whatever that means to you. To not hide the light, not hide the reason for you being who you are. To set up a safe place in families, friends, schools, and communities, for anyone to come out, and be accepted.
The world has changed, in many regards. Humans still working to find our way. Coming out is a major, often life altering event for many, those who sum up the courage will tell you. It is a rite of passage for those not straight. I say, why not all human beings do the same? Why not every one of us, stand up and come out, declare yourself to the world? Could the world be a better place, if we just make things a little bit more equal, and not just pay lip service to the ideal?
Coming out is a major turning point for anyone willing to expose themselves. We try to be seen, want to be accepted for who we are, no matter the colour, creed, or feelings we have. So many will not have the chance to be free to do so. Is it not the village that should raise the children? Are we not civilized enough yet to give our futures the chance to flourish?