You never really stop coming out. It’s not something you only do once in your life and when it’s over you’re done. When you start, when you’re ready, you keep going. Kind of forever.
You first come out to yourself, when you admit that perhaps you’re a bit queer—some people have always known while some people realize at the age of 30—and it can be a bit of an epiphany.
Then there is that first friend that you really, REALLY trust, and coming out to them is a sort of experiment. “So…um…I think I like girls too. You cool with that?”
Then there are more close friends, maybe some family members.
And the list goes on with the rest of the friends and family. Because while it’s nobody’s business what your sexuality is, once you open the gate it’s hard to shut it.
I got to the point where I thought to myself “that’s it. I’m done.” I came out to everyone in my life including all of my social media and coworkers.
What I didn’t think about was the everyday stuff. The people you casually meet and interact with everyday, at the supermarket or at the gym. That specific kind of interaction takes even more courage than telling a dear friend because you’re talking to a stranger.
This is a stranger. I’m telling a stranger that I’m queer by just letting it slip in the conversation, accidentally or not. Saying that I have a girlfriend and she was reading the same book last week seems harmless but this stranger might have strong feelings in regards to that revelation.
Some days I just say a generic partner, when I’m not emotionally ready to face possible consequences.
Some days it’s a win. Some days it’s about wishing that everyone had the freedom to openly say out loud who they love, without fear or remorse.
You never stop coming out. Every new person you encounter, eventually, will hear it, since it’s not the default setting.
Look after yourself. After all, you’re the first person you came out to.