Happy National Coming Out Day!!!!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Luvs2Squirt, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Luvs2Squirt

    Luvs2Squirt Active Member

    Feb 26, 2011
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    Central Iowa
    :love: With much love and support to the LGBT community!!! :arms:


    And on a more serious note, if one LGBT young person sees support today and doesn't feel so alone and/or put down and decides to live another day, it is worth it. :smile:
    #1 Luvs2Squirt, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  2. D_CountdeGrandePinja

    D_CountdeGrandePinja Account Disabled

    Feb 4, 2008
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    INDEED - may we be who we were created to be! God doesn't make any junk!
  3. rbkwp

    Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2007
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    hope they have a succesful day..
    and respect those who for whatever reasons
    choose not to come out..if at all/until theyre ready

    have not read of this happening...
  4. B_Nia88

    B_Nia88 New Member

    Aug 21, 2011
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    Victoria BC
    best day of my life when i came out
  5. jjsjr

    Gold Member

    May 27, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Wilmington, Delaware
    The following essay is an incredibly complex series of thoughts, so if you don't feel like reading it and delving into your inner self, then back away now. :)

    Acknowledging that this month is October, we should be aware that October features two dates to be highlighted, at least for this essay: Halloween and National Coming Out Day. These two dates share an opposing theme of hiding or revealing one's identity. In the spirit of these observances, let us reflect on the duality of both as they pertain to our culture and use that as a lesson for the month.

    "Masquerade! Paper faces on parade. Hide your face so the world may never find you!" -- Phantom of the Opera

    To clarify, this isn't an essay about the history of the date so much as the symbolism behind them. The day of Halloween gives us permission to dress up in costumes and parade around our neighborhoods. It's entertaining to clothe ourselves in a new persona amidst friends. However, there are so many of us who will parade around each day projecting a persona that we know to be an act. Hopefully by now, the symbolism of these two holidays is becoming more evident. National Coming Out Day is a day for the LGBT community to recognize their self-identity or sexual orientations and then celebrate it openly with pride. This day is similar to how many holidays serve as a reminder for self-reflection. While National Coming Out Day was designed around the LGBT community, there's room for interpretation in regard to the the act of “coming out” but more on that later.

    Now for the profound stuff:

    There are two faces we can show to the world. There's our true face and then there's a mask. These masks we wear can take many forms: happiness, strength, confidence, etc; it is entirely possible to wear multiple masks. They are all faces we utilize to hide the emotions/faces that we are genuinely feeling. In a way, they represent a character we wish we could embody. There's a hint of irony hidden behind our masquerading. The irony exists because these masks are often the emotions we wish we could embody in their truest forms. However, we cannot live as honestly as we feel because we are often too afraid to undergo the moments of vulnerability associated with the process of self-discovery. With that said, those moments of vulnerability are necessary to purify those positive feelings (happiness, courage strength).

    What the hell does that mean?!

    Maybe another explanation can assist: In order to truly experience the joy of living with genuine courage or strength, we must march through the fires of fear, vulnerability and shame in order to triumph on the other side with a greater sense of happiness and self-worth. Unfortunately, we develop then don these false faces to avoid addressing that period of fear. (Hopefully, you're not confused by the esoteric language; it is a complex mentality.) In short, it's self-sabotage. You are holding yourself back from your own potential. Too many of us are in denial that these masks even exist because we have lived so long with them that we begin to embody the mask as if it's our own flesh. Too frequently will we defend the mask itself, using it as a shield as we hide behind it in denial. That true sense of self-worth gives us the liberty to take that mask off and live as a true self. Consider this essay to be an open invitation for self-reflection and revelation. Consider this essay to be a guide along the process of coming out, in ways far more faceted than simply announcing one's orientation. Grant yourself permission to live honestly so you can honestly live.

    There are 6 steps or stages that illustrate the all-encompassing process of coming out.
    (Once again, take note that coming out is more than coming out “of the closet,” it is essentially a public announcement about the Self)

    1. Overcome Denial
    2. Identify the Truth about the Self
    3. Overcome Fear/Guilt/Shame
    4. Decide/Prepare to Come Out
    5. Reveal the Truth about the Self
    6. Live Truthfully

    “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

    Overcoming Denial:
    Some people might not have anything they are denying, but for those who do, this step is yours to tread. What is it about yourself that you are denying? Most people already know that secret or hidden bit of information that they aren't sharing. Overcoming denial is the initial step to starting the process of coming out simply because it is the moment when one makes that budding realization that something needs to change.

    “The self is not something one finds, it is something one creates” – Thomas Szasz

    Identifying the Truth about the Self:
    The second step is as laughably simple as it is uniquely confounding. This is when we say “I know who I am.” Following this sentence is a lifetime of self-reflection, as we are constantly redefining ourselves. How does one know the self? We know who we are because we know our passions. You are your passions. Embrace your passions to embrace yourself. Deep down inside the core of our character, we know what motivates us, inspires us, or offends us. This is who we are. However too many of us ignore that little voice due to fear of how others will perceive us. This is where the notion of our masks is born. Being able to separate ourselves from the fear is essential to transitioning up to the next step.

    “It is a false belief that the courageous live without fear; they are intimate with it.” – Buddhist proverb

    Overcoming Fear/Guilt/Shame:
    The primary reason we feel a need to hide is due to fear. Fear is the root of both shame and guilt; and these emotions have such a negative impact on the psyche. Fear exists in all stages of the coming out process, but we interpret it differently depending on how far along we are. Being able to separate ourselves from the fear and living to foster our own core happiness is a key understanding in the process of coming out. How much value do we give to others' opinions regarding us? How much do we allow others' opinions to modify our own behavior? How many of us know that others' opinions are entirely irrelevant? Am I ready to release that shame and willing to take that risk?

    “I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health.” – Voltaire

    Deciding/Preparing to Come Out:
    So you've gotten this far into your own self-reflection. Now comes the real challenge. This is the moment when we decide to be honest with ourselves by being honest with everyone else. This stage is simply no more than telling someone. Be aware that others will react, but remember this is your information and your life being revealed.

    “The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater becomes their power to harm us.” – Voltaire

    Revealing the Truth about Yourself:
    “I'm gay.” “I'm an alcoholic.” “I'm having an affair.” “I don't want to go to Harvard, but rather Julliard.” And just like that, your information is out. Congratulations. Now give the other individuals their time to adjust to your information and allow for their response. Many times, their response could yield great social consequences and therein lies another wave of fear. But accept that fear, address that fear, and push through it. Remember that whatever people think about you is their opinion and their opinion alone. Opinions are not facts, they are thoughts. If someone doesn't like your clothes, that does not mean you're wearing bad clothes, it simply means they believe that way; it is their opinion. Your information is out and now you are one step closer to knowing you can embrace your truth.

    “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedoms of others.” -- Nelson Mandela

    Living Truthfully:
    Here we are at the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the moment when you realize that your truth is out and you are indeed changed. Embrace this moment, cherish this moment. Many who know themselves well have a much easier time making decisions for they are always attuned to that core happiness and self understanding. Too many of us are stuck in stage 2 or barely even started at all. Find them. Help them. Teach them. We will never know how deep the roots of our influence will reach, so share love at all times.

    “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness is never decreased by being shared.” – Buddhist proverb

    This is October. We have both National Coming Out Day and Halloween to observe. Take a moment to reflect upon the various stages of the coming out process. Be aware of the characters you become once in costumes for Halloween and acknowledge the masks you wear or once wore. Use them as a reminder of how far you have developed. Use the rest of your life be introspective; only you can be you. There is no shame in knowledge. I will conclude with a thought from Nelson Mandela: “As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

    Happy National Coming Out Day.
    Happy Halloween.

    Live honestly so you may honestly live.

    Delaware GLU.
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