Coming Out: Yup, It’s A Process

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

One of the things I’m passionate about is shining the light on the LGBT Community, and the power we hold within. Part of acknowledging that power lies not only in coming out of the closet, but in sharing our stories of doing so. When we share our stories, people who are in a situation we once navigated through can connect to us through our stories, and know deep in their souls that they’re not alone.

I recently shared my story with the It Gets Better Project, and learned just how difficult it can be to share a story—even one I’m so familiar with—on camera. I want to get it just right; I want to make sure I articulate my point well and that it comes across clearly—which, of course, requires actually having a point. The point of my story is that when I honor myself as a human being, the rest will fall into place.

As I tell my story on camera, and as I watch it after the fact, I realize that there’s importance not just in showing teens that it gets better, but that adults might benefit from our hindsights, as well. Many of the gays and lesbians I know didn’t come out in their teens, but in their 20’s and 30’s. There’s a struggle for some of these people to really acknowledge themselves for who they are because they’re so unsure of the life they’ve been living heretofore. We feel like we’ve lived a lie, and somehow the guilt of that lie keeps us hiding deeper and deeper in the back of the closet we so desperately need to be free of.

This is what I had in mind when I began interviewing people about their coming out process for ThatsSoGayLive.com. I wanted to show that it’s okay to come out when you’re beyond your teens. I wanted to show that it’s okay to be unsure of yourself through the process. I wanted to show that it’s okay to be exactly who you are and come to terms with that beautiful person, no matter how long it takes you.

Below are the stories of two women, Lisa Mae and Julie, who each took her own time with the coming out process. They each navigated the process differently, and have both come to a place where they honor themselves while still maneuvering through a life (and self) they love.

Here are their stories:

Lisa Mae Brunson

Julie Aziz

[Update: Unfortunately, TSGL has made the two videos above private. I’ve posted my own copy of the interview with Lisa Mae, but I no longer have access to the interview with Julie. I apologize for the inconvenience.]

And here’s my story:

Dian Reid

And here’s your story:

Actually, I don’t have your story yet. But I’d love for you to share it with me and the rest of the world right here. As you can see, I’m no Oprah, but with practice, I’m getting better at interviewing—don’t you worry.

If you came out in your 20’s or 30’s, especially if you took your time doing so, I’d love to hear from you. To quote Lady GaGa: “No matter gay, straight, or bi / Lesbian, transgendered life,” I’d love to hear and help you share your story. Hit me up right here.

It does get better, even if you’re not a teen or not contemplating suicide.

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