And here’s why that’s OK.
Coming out to my friends was hard enough (and the consequent decision I have to make of whether or not I want to come out to every new person I meet… but that’s another story for another time), so I’ve come to the decision of how to do so with my family fairly easy.
I’m never going to.
The more I live at home, the more my decision has been solidified, but for some reason, people feel sorry for me when I say that I don’t feel the desire to tell my family. They shouldn’t feel sorry, because I feel absolutely no remorse knowing that my family will never know. Coming out is a personal decision, and while I appreciate how much my family has done for me, I don’t feel that connection with them that would warrant them knowing such a personal part of me- especially a part of me I have a good feeling they wouldn’t particularly understand.
There’s part of me that has always questioned the idea of what it means to be family. People around are always telling me I should try harder to get along with my family, or that family will always be there for you. Tell me please, how can family be there for you when they don’t even know who you are? When they have a completely misconstrued version of you in their heads, because that’s what they want to see?
However, whether my relationship with my family is on good terms or not, that leaves no room for others to judge me on my decision to not come out to them. You never know what someone is going through, the unique details of someone’s situation with themselves, their family, or friends.
The pressure to come out in order to be validated as a part of the LGBTQ+ community creates such a heavy weight on our shoulders. It’s as if you’re not a full fledged queer until you’re 100% out to everyone. Or as if once you release your statement to the world that, yes, you are, in fact, a flaming bisexual, then congratulations! You’re now a certified queer!
News flash: you’re never going to be 100% out. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s always going to be someone new that you’ll have to come out to all over again.
When we live in such a heteronormative society, it’s natural for queer identified folks to not want to be out. People have many reasons to stay closeted, and anyone who tries to invalidate your decision to stay that way is, in scientific terms, a fucking douchebag.
There are people that are totally comfortable with coming out to their friends and family; people that want to connect with others through sharing that part of their identity, and that’s totally okay! But what’s not okay is shaming people and devaluing their identity based on their decision not to do the same.
I’ve had a lot of straight people tell me, “don’t worry, you’ll be ready to tell them eventually,” even when I blatantly tell them that I don’t want to come out to my family. No, I don’t think I’ll ever be ‘ready’ to tell them because I don’t want to. It’s not important to me that they know, and you need to get off your high horse and realize that you don’t know me or how I am with my family to condemn my decision.
“But you’ll be happier if you come out to them!”
How do you even know that? How do you know I’m not happy already?
Stop telling people they’ll feel better after they come out, because that’s not necessarily always the case.
And for all my closeted queers out there: you are loved and you know yourself best, so don’t let these people get to you.