Coming Out…Again…And Again
There are oodles of facts and pieces of advice I’ve heard regarding the coming out
process over the years. “Everyone’s process is different.” “Have a supportive
network in place.” “Don’t do it at a Klan…I mean, Trump rally.”
But before one comes out, they should understand a critical piece of information
that is often neglected: You do not come out once.
We live in an era where homosexuality is more accepted, but our society is still very
heteronormative. I understand that most of society identifies closer to the low end
of the Kinsey scale1 , but this view is still annoying. Why does it get on my nerves?
Well, consider the following:
- When people see the ring on my left finger, they ask, “What does your
- When my wife and I meet someone new, sometimes they stop the
conversation to ask, “Are you two sisters?”
- After my wife (who is four years older) and I confirm we are not
sisters, one person asked, “Mother-daughter?”
It’s fair to say that I “come out” about once a week.
Well, it’s because you look femme
So, I should adjust my personal styling to avoid gross generalizations?
That’s just stupid.
And it’s also hypocritical, because if I really butched it up2, some asshat would then
accuse me of “rubbing my gayness” in their face3.
It’s a catch-22. But luckily, I’ve created some tactics to come out without being
“aggressive”, nor passive. And I’m going to share those tactics with you.
It’s all about the setup
I recently started a new job. Shocking, I know, that writing blogs and publishing a
novel that once peaked at #17 on Amazon’s lesbian fiction list does not provide me
an income to write full-time. Anyway, my point is this, I’ve had to come out at my
new workplace all over again and I’ve done so in these subtle ways.
- Picture(s) on the desk: They aren’t romantic pictures, but just having
a picture of another woman on my desk is enough of a push for a new
coworker’s interest to be piqued. They’ll see it and the exchange goes
something like this: “Who’s that? Your sister?” Then, I politely smile
and say, “No, that’s my wife, Padma4.”
- The use of “we”: For example, if someone asks me what I did over the
weekend, I’ll provide an answer like this, “We did some yard work and
binged Wynonna Earp5.” This response is usually met by silence
because people expect me to elaborate, but I continue smiling until
they finally ask, “Who are ‘we’?” I laugh softly, act mildly embarrassed
I neglected to include that information and say, “My wife, Padma, and
I. She loves making sure the bushes are well trimmed6.”
- HRC/feminist swag: I like this tactic a lot, because it works whether
you’re in a relationship or not. It also lays the groundwork for your
personality and outside interests. One of my co-workers has done
this7 and I can tell we’ll get along just fine.
This advice is a cop-out and you’re not a proud homo-gay!
I am a very proud homo-gay!
I’m also an adult who has worked in a variety of different work environments, lived
in a few different places, and has met a variety of people who don’t see the world the
way I do. My method is called, “They asked, I told.”
I wonder how I came up with that?
In my method, I do not deny who I am, who I love, or my beliefs. And isn’t that what
pride is all about?
- Scale of 0-6. Zero is 100% hetero, six is 100% homo. 1-5 Bisexualland.
- Yes, that’s a term.
- Don’t take that literally. It’s very #MeToo.
- Not my wife’s real name, but if I’m making up names…I’m going with Padma.
God, I love Top Chef. All of those yummy sounds she makes…
- This is my new favorite show. It’s awesome and not just because of
- Okay, I’ve never said that to a colleague, but I’d love to see the look on their
- It’s a picture of Princess Leia with a blaster and a badass Carrie Fisher quote