Being You During Coming Out::Part 2

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

This is part 2 of a 4-part series in exploration of coming out. I’m looking at what I believe to be four essential components to being who we know ourselves to be on the inside, and matching that person with who we are on the outside.

To read Part 1 first, go here.

Fear::

There were so many things I feared when I came out to my friends and family. I feared they would hate me. I feared some would judge me and cut me out of their lives. I feared they would treat me differently. I feared they would pretend everything was the same but cringe inside every time they saw me. I feared telling anyone because, what if I weren’t really gay? I feared hurting my father by not being who he wanted me to be. I feared finding someone to spend the rest of my life with only to be drug down the street, chained to the back of a pick-up truck. I feared being outed and judged by co-workers. And what that all boiled down to was a deep seated fear of being myself.

For years, I kept all my fears neatly tucked inside. Pushed into a nice little organized box in my brain, so it wouldn’t get muddled up in my real life. I simply stopped talking to my father about being gay. It was easier in the beginning. Easier to say that we agreed to disagree. But really what we agreed to was to let our fear run our lives. But after discovering my values, and learning that it was important for me to simply be me, I asked my fears to take a back seat.

But even after coming to understand my values more clearly, I had a difficult time honoring them. My fears refused to take a back seat, and perferred to direct traffic. Conversations with my father that touched on or hinted at my sexuality, had me quickly frozen in fear. When I stood in front of my father, fear seemed to grab hold of the reigns and Whoa! me, mid sentence.

What I didn’t understand was that my initial gut reaction to speak was my Authentic self demanding to be heard. My Authentic being was calling out to me: begging, pleading, scratching, kicking, screaming for me to let her out of her cave. These screams came out as whispers, though, as fear breathed, “HALT!!” over my authenticity. After these conversations with my father, my fears would pipe down, and finally, I could hear the cries of my Authenticity.

Once my Authentic self had made her presence known, I sensed that my fears could be somehow charmed into submission. Which leads me into Part 3……

Two of Arts photo used courtesy Creative Commons License, via http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/ / CC BY 2.0
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  • Dian, you are amazing–so truthful and– (well, there's no better word for it than “authentic.”) Your process is NOT unique to the gay world–(trust me on this…) it's all of us needing, wanting, often struggling to “simly be” without the most dreaded repercussion of all–abandonment (which is percieved in many ways–not just the obvious). I've been reading your blogs and have so many thoughts..I need some time to process and come back and share. You're very special and wonderful and I applaud your work!

  • Thank you, Lauren. Isn't it funny how the most difficult thing to do seems to be being oneself?

  • Woah. There's a lot in there for me right now. 'Coming out' takes many, many forms. It is so fraught with fear and yes, I think the impetus is always authenticity. Now rounding the bend of 40, my authentic self is (at times, literally) screaming to come out. My father was such a sweetheart when it came to his attention that I had a girlfriend (more than once) that it sometimes melts my heart to just think about it. He was a man of religion and not a young man either. Nor was he sober. But my wish is that more parents could just be willing to lovingly bear witness. I know that's frequently not the reality though (and it certainly wasn't with my mother). So thank you for writing this and I look forward to the next installment!

  • qthomasbower

    What a pleasure it is to have my Two of Arts associated with your blog and this important topic!

    -QThomasBower

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