Coming out with purpose
September 7, 2012 | 3:23 pm
(Updated: February 22, 2013 | 3:45 pm)
I sat down with some friends over wings and beer the other night, and we started talking about coming out. Now I have a friend who had an actual “coming out” debutante style – an aristocratic version of a “Sweet 16” – at a cotillion, in a white dress and long gloves. She likes to tell the joke that she had to come out twice. So tonight we somehow got on the subject of coming out, at a ball. Another friend piped in, “oh like a quinceañera.” Sort of, if my friend were Mexican.
What if you could have a coming out party but for queers? A queertillion or a queerceañera. I, of course, would prefer that someone could come out in a fashion according to her or his tradition. But, if you are queer, you get to bring the gender appropriate date.
If you’re butch/stud, and it is your coming out, you get to bring a chick as your date and wear a tux. I think the guest list would have to expand. The whole idea of your coming out into society is to introduce the young woman as now eligible for courting and the current crop of society bachelors. If the individual coming out is going to really include her or his “society,” the guest list is going to have to include a lot more colorful people.
Speaking of color, do you really think that a gay youth coming out to society is really going to stick with the white glove, white dress, white tux thing? No way! This is the opportunity to be introduced – in front of God and everybody else – as a new person to know. Would a gay boy give up the opportunity to wear something completely original? You know there will be rainbows and Doc Martins, glitterbombs, 6-inch heels with a goldfish and lashes out to there. Drag queens have to come out, too!
There’s a thing about “society” – it wants you to find your place in it by looking, acting and thinking like the rest. One of the best gifts of being queer is the freedom from having to look, act or be like anyone other than your divine self. When we are given the opportunity to stand in front of everyone, to say I’m ready to be part of your world, we are going to take that opportunity to show everyone who we are.
That’s the best part about Pride: people express themselves in whatever way they can. It’s giving a big TA-DA! A gay coming out would be the most liberating experience because you would be coming out in every way possible – all at the same time.
I recently had the pleasure to attend an event called a Deeksha or Oneness Blessing. I learned a lot that night. What I came away with was experiencing a room full of people without any judgment. At the beginning, we received instructions about the many ways that people may feel or express themselves. We were assured that everything is OK, and these things are perfectly normal.
When everyone is given permission to have their own experiences, then no one judges anyone else. There were approximately 1,400 people there. It is incredible to be in a place where everyone feels at peace with themselves. No matter how fleeting that moment, it existed. Once you can create it, you can recreate it.
When we finally come to the moment in history where LGBT people can join in the cotillion and be as queer as a $3 bill, that is when we know we have truly come to a place of unity. It is when no one is afraid to be themselves, that they no longer feel it necessary to make people conform. It’s all a lie – no one is like anyone else. That’s why we know we’ll have gotten somewhere when kids stop getting awards for bringing their boyfriends to prom. And other kids don’t have to have a separate prom in order to go at all.
I want to stop having GLAAD awards because queer couples in the media won’t be a big deal. I want this kind of unity with all of my heart.
Until that happens, I want to be the one that teaches protocol to all the young queers for my Queertillion. They’ll be youth with manners and fierce style. Just building a brighter future, Sugar. ]
Robyn can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.