Coming out is a monumental event in most people's lives, whether you're actually the person 'coming out' or a member of their inner circle. It doesn't matter what position you play—the experience is life changing.
In 1869, LGBT rights advocate Karl Heinrich Ulrich introduced coming out concept as a means of emancipation and changing societal opinions. Granted, people have been coming out for centuries...just not as openly as we see it today. While the process of coming out makes headline new on almost a daily basis, I find it interesting to bring other terms to the forefront that might better support people in this journey. Here are just a few of my ideas for communicating "I'm Coming Out" in some different terms.
I'm living my truth. Nothing says honesty like slapping yourself upside the head and saying, "Wake up and start living life as your authentic self!" Taking that brave step to fully embrace our sexuality starts with you living your truth.
Getting real with myself. Or, in slang terms: to "Get Real," means to get down with your bad self and no longer pretend to be something you're not. Doesn't that feel refreshing?
Living my life fantastically. Nothing says you're alive and loving more than when you say, "I feel fantastic." It's pretty darn hard to be fantastic when you're not feeling good about yourself.
These three terms illustrate my point, but let's take it a step further. As I was contemplating how the term "coming out" could be morphed into something that would catch people's attention, I landed on a term that says it all. However, before I share this little nugget, I want to make it clear that I do believe if you're gay, you are born this way… gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. It's not because a higher power crossed the wires or "made a mistake." We are just this way, and we're more than okay. In fact, we’re gifted with GDNA, LDNA, BDNA, and TDNA. Okay; now that we've got that clear, back to my new term for coming out.
I'm a recovering heterosexual. Some people claim to be recovering Catholics, recovering sugar addicts, recovering vegetarians, or recovering Kardashian fans. So, why can't we who have come out be recovering heterosexuals?
So what does that mean?
• We're stepping beyond the confines of heterosexual normative behavior.
• We're releasing the social expectations that boys date girls and girls date boys.
• We're blurring the lines of masculinity and femininity.
• We're blazing new trails of human existence.
• We're allowing curiosity to prevail rather than accepting what is.
• We're honoring our human form and allowing it to flourish creatively.
• We're acknowledging our heterosexual upbringing and integrating it into our sexual orientation.
• We're allowing our logical self to play in the sand box of our heart's desires with no regrets.
• We're recovering from assumptions, interpretations, and limiting beliefs that no longer serve our sexuality.
• We're embracing that our sexuality is only one small piece of our complete package.
At the end of the day, whether you call it coming out, getting real with yourself, living your life fantastically, or functioning as a recovering heterosexual, it really doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is you're just being authentic. And, that feels pretty darn good.
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This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: "Are You A Recovering Heterosexual?"