Being Out Matters

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Today is National Coming Out Day, and I want to share with you the email I got from dot429 this morning, which talks about why being out is so important. From their newsletter (which I couldn’t find a direct link to, so I’ll just share the full text here):

October 11, 2010

Today is National Coming Out Day. We encourage each of you to reach out publicly to express your pride in being gay.

Why is being out important?

In a small but significant way, each time one of us makes the courageous decision to live life out loud we make it easier for the next member of our community to do the same. In telling our stories and in letting the world know who we truly are, we act as role models to those who may be afraid. In coming out we begin to chisel away at old ideas and old beliefs. We show our LGBT fellows that strong, dedicated and prosperous out professionals are everywhere, and not limited to a particular profession or to specific cities.

At dot429 we encounter success stories on a daily basis and we see that being out is not a hindrance to being a success. From a gay CMO at a Fortune 500 company in Minneapolis, to a lesbian producer in New York, to engineers, lawyers, doctors and small business owners from coast-to-coast, out members of our community are becoming increasingly successful in every demographic and in every profession.

As we band together on this National Coming Out Day let us remember the old adage that there is always strength in numbers. Let the world know who you are, and in so doing, make that path a little easier for your LGBT family members.

Richard, Sabrina, Nick and Bill

dot429 Richard Klein | CEO  •  Sabrina Riddle | CCO  •  Nick Hodulik | CTO  •  Bill Stewart | Chair of the Board

Of course, I know that many of my readers here are not gay, and may feel like you have nothing to “come out” about. I’m not much of a beggar, but on this, I beg to differ. We all have a little piece of us inside that we fear sharing with the rest of the world. I “came out” years ago, and even though it’s an ongoing process, there are many details of my life I still fear letting outside the comfort of my own brain, my own memory.

I fear coming out as a writer because then people ask questions and I fear I won’t have the right answers. I fear coming out as a sexually abused teen because I fear people will look at me and say, “Oh … it all makes sense now…THAT’s why she’s gay.” I fear coming out as an expert in authenticity because I know there’s always someone who knows more than me—and what if they prove me wrong?

So I come out as each of these slowly, at my own pace. This is okay. And still, I know there is much more of me left to come out…

The bottom line here is that coming out, no matter what you’re revealing about yourself, involves a great deal of fear, trust, and unknown outcomes. We try to go over in our heads every possible outcome so we can prepare for whatever will be. And the reality is that there are just too many possibilities, and the only way to know for sure what will happen is to take that first step forward.

Be yourself. Tell people about it. Chances are, whoever you tell is human, too. And that human has fears of his or her own. Relate to that humanness, and the fear (for both of you) will begin to subside.

Being out matters because being out means being you. And you matter. I promise.

I encourage you to share a little piece of you here with us that maybe you’ve never shared with anyone … this is a safe place and judgments have no place here. So … will you share?


angela October.12.2010 at 12.31 pm

Hi Dian, your post fueled my post about being “too heavy”–I updated it with a link back here. Thank you for encouraging everyone to share. xoxo

Dian Reid October.12.2010 at 4.56 pm

So glad to fuel the sharing =) I hope many more are encouraged to share, by way of your post as well. It’s crazy how much of ourselves we hide, no?

Kylie October.25.2010 at 12.27 am

Being out most certainly does matter. Thank you for the reminder. While I’m usually pretty comfortable with being out about my sexuality, I notice a whole lot of squirmy discomfort about coming out as an aspiring coach. Particularly when the people I’m coming out to about it are more skeptical folks. And that discomfort means that I say it sheepishly, and people have a hard time understanding or thinking it’s interesting because of the way I’m sharing it. So yeah, I’m an aspiring coach. Sometimes I’m really freaking optimistic and cheesy. Other times I’m sarcastic. And I’m working on being more comfortable with sharing all this with the world.

Dian Reid October.25.2010 at 6.15 pm

I completely understand what you’re going through, Kylie. Sometimes that still happens. For me it sometimes means I’m not talking to my right people (or potential clients), or that I’m just not clear on what my contribution is with my coaching. There’s so much that’s intangible about what we do. Keep sharing, keep digging, keep being. Optimistic & cheesy are awesome traits … and sarcasm is its own bit of awesomeness. Looking forward to your comfort growing

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