“I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are
But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me” ~ This Is Me, The Greatest Showman
“In the out-of-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge…” For a New Beginning, John O’Donohue
For National Coming Out Day 2018 and Finding Calling
Why is coming out such a big deal if you’ve already come out…
Looking back to the first time I began to come out as gay three years ago, I realize it’s very much like crossing a threshold into a new world. And you have no idea what that new world is going to look like. Especially since my coming out experience wasn’t and isn’t linear…and being in the closet was seeped in shame and trauma, that new world was both tantalizing and terrifying.
Here I am now, embarking on a new adventure, and although most people in my life are aware of it, being on that journey is a lot harder than it may seem.
I started seminary in September online, but part of my program involves fulfilling residential requirements one week a quarter. So this week I’ve been on campus and got to meet my online cohort in person for the first time. The entire experience has been amazing and intense. But it’s allowed me to ponder some things anew.
In most spaces out in public, I’m not afraid to hold my wife’s hand. I’m able to be read as a gay person and not judged for it. What I am not able to do most often though, is be non-binary. Not really anyway. So let me explain this new coming out by inviting you in…
I still make apologies for using they/them pronouns. I am still afraid to use public restrooms especially since I know I eventually want top surgery and will then be read as “male” although that’s not how I identify.
Many of you can go to the restroom without even being afraid. There’s a restroom FOR YOUR GENDER specifically. There isn’t usually for me where I live. And living out as a non-binary or genderqueer person is a little terrifying. I’m slowly crossing that threshold and reaching for the door knob.
I’m slowly learning I can be fully who I am and fuck whoever thinks that I can’t be. “I know there’s a place for us.”
Bathrooms are just one example of terror. And living everyday in a body that feels like it has betrayed me since puberty with its developing chest and everyone calling me “lady” and “woman” when it never felt right.
I don’t want to be scared anymore. I want to be bold enough to say, hey, this IS a big deal when you use wrong pronouns and don’t correct yourself. I’m shy…but it’s not ok. It’s not ok to pretend that people don’t exist outside of the gender binary.
I’ve had enough violence come to my body for being perceived as weak and vulnerable.
Here I am being vulnerable and strong. I am non-binary. I don’t need you to understand what that means. But I do need you to respect me as a human being.
No one gets to force us into a binary, or into a closet. People don’t live in closets. I refuse to let people’s perceptions of me keep me from being myself. No religion,
bible, pastor, or church controls me or gets allowed to cause me or others harm.
I am non-binary…I am gay. and all the pain of coming out and the joy of it…
This is me.
That door is wide open and I am walking through it on this journey of fully becoming who I’m meant to be.
And I am called…to help others walk through that door. Especially those who have been pushed into the closets and margins and not allowed to be who they are.
I will walk with you. You do not have to go alone.
This particular live version of this song is incredible: