Being You During Coming Out::Part 1

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

I’m working on a theory that there are four essential components to being you (yes, that authentic you I’m always yapping about over here), specifically in the situation of coming out. I may be wrong, I may be right, but I don’t care about either of those things. I care about the exploration of of these 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. This is part 1 of a four part series. Explore with me, will you?

Values::

Who’s values do you live by? When I came out to my father, I thought I was fairly clear on my values, but I feared that his were more important or more…right than mine. Which meant that I wasn’t grounded enough in my values to hold them as my truth, nor honor them effectively in my life. I said a lot of things were important to me, but I didn’t live those values in my every day life. Values like honesty and integrity and patience.

I wasn’t always honest with my father about what I was feeling, for fear of whatever I thought he might have to say about me. Which affected my ability to live in integrity of walking my talk. I failed to have patience with my father, and expected him to know exactly how I felt right from the beginning—I’d forgotten that he might need time to process this “new” information about me, just like I’d take time to let it all sink in.

My values got muddled with his, and I wondered if God would hate me and damn me to Hell like my father suggested, even though my gut told me otherwise. As his values muddied the waters of my own, I lost clarity on the very core of my being: I am who I am, and I love her. The more I listened to my father’s values, the further I got from the place where I loved myself.

So I took a step back from his values and looked at my own.

What’s important to me? What do I know to be true for me? Who do I want to be when I grow up? What does it look like to honor these things? And that’s when I started gain my strength.

Under the Important To Me column fell: respect, listening/being heard, following my gut/intuition, courage, and kindness.

Under the Important To My Father column fell: Christian family values, maintaining the peace, and patience.

Looking at my values brought about some weighty questions I had to be willing to answer before I could actually move forward and have any growth in my relationship with my father.

How could I respect my father’s values and honor my own? How could I listen to my father and still feel heard by him? What does it look like to follow my gut/intuition? What does it look like for me to be courageous with my father? How can I impart kindness on both myself and my father around the topic of my sexuality?

I followed the notion that I could respect my father’s opinions/values, and respectfully disagree with him, but I had to work through the fear in speaking up about it. I found it difficult to listen to him and be heard by him when I felt so strongly against where he stood, and vice/versa…and there came fear again to keep me from actively listening. I was getting a sense of what it looked like to follow my gut, my intuition, but it required me to work through a lot of fears in doing so. Working through the fear seemed to be what ‘courageous’ looked like…but oh, God, how do I do that? With all of this fear, I seemed to be unable to work in much kindness, whether towards myself or my father, at least in my thoughts—I was too afraid to speak the scenes that played out in my head both before and after our conversations.

Fear.

This whole fear thing seemed to be getting in the way of my values.

Which leads me into part 2…….

Photo courtesy Creative Commons License via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrs_logic/ / CC BY 2.0

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