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Day 16–Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

I started my time with a Lifetime movie—“The Truth About Jane” circa 2000. I remember watching it then and now. Wow—in 2000, I was not yet out. It’s kind of funny because watching it again made me realize that coming out as gay, lesbian, trans, queer, bi-sexual, is not the only way to coming out. Sorry, my LGBTQ family—we don’t own it.  I remember my first coming out process was dating outside of my race—I literally had to come out as a white woman dating a black man. Watching the LM today—it was the same reactions—“The world is not tolerant. I want you to have an easier life.” Those were the gentler responses from my mom. My Dad was rather extreme in making it clear, I would be disowned and that I had shamed the family. Throughout the LM, the theme kept coming out (no pun intended) that the daughter who was gay and all she was dealing with had nothing to do with either of her parents. Yet it was her parents that made her coming out about them and not about loving their daughter.

It the end of the movie and in my end, there was a lot of full circle with PFlag parents joining their kids at the parade. Well, neither one of my parents attended a unity parade but I figure since my Dad’s wife is African American and my mom adopted my black boyfriend as the son she never had—I had my own parade. However, now that I am a lesbian and my sister is too—I wonder if our parents will ever join us at the next parade:)

I ended my day with my pilates instructor telling me how excited she was to meet my wife. She went on to say that she doesn’t know how I found her but that all of us lesbians (my words not hers) find her one way or the other. My pilates instructor is straight mind you but she is totally accepting and cool. You know when I say, “My wife” and she didn’t skip a beat. Sometimes I think we all myself included get caught up trying to find people who we share an identity with could be race, age, gender, sexual orientation, class—now that I have stopped connecting with others over that commonality or difference my world has gotten much bigger, brighter and liberating.

After my class, I took the dogs to Boynton canyon. I have been a bit fearful about hiking with the dogs due to the coyotes, mountain lions and wolves. However, after my Pilates I am always stronger and less fearful. So off we went. The first 15minute hike was just that due to the pack of coyotes we heard howling for the dinner hunt.

We then drove further down the road and starting climbing Doe Mountain. It was really fun, suddenly the doggies and I were just focused on one thing—going up. We were going at a good clip then we saw a woman with binoculars. It cued me to actually look back—I have attached a picture of what I saw. As we climbed higher and higher, I saw a huge rock on our path  and decided it was time to start the ascension. A small note is that we reached our own top.

It was satisfying climb and we did not have to reach the top to feel a sense of accomplishment. We accomplished a great climb. I think core to leading a life of possibilities is knowing when you reached your top, when you should pick a different mountain or when you should turn around and start again.

Living a life out and proud is realizing that no matter which path you choose the only one who can put you back in the closet is yourself.  I invite you to come out and be your true self.

About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).


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