Yesterday (October 11) was National Coming Out Day. It got me thinking about my sexuality.
I have been so (so, so, so, so) lucky to not face a lot of negativity about my sexuality. But this is largely because I, for the most part, don’t talk about it. And when I do, it’s with a very specific group of people.
I’ve always wondered if there was a formula to this. How many people have to be aware before I’m officially “out?” Is there a specific percentage of people that need to know about my sexuality before it becomes a Thing? Before it becomes something people know about me, celebrate about me, reduce me to, expect me to make art about? Does that happen?
Short answer: Yes.
I’m living a world where people are accepting, yes, of LGBT people, but still misunderstand them. I’m living in a world where people, whether they know it or not, boil others down to their queerness. Where my sexuality could go from a simple given to my number one defining feature, just based on another person’s opinion about it. Where I need to actively fight against intolerance, and make good art (hopefully at the same time). Where my art might be called good or bad just on the merit of my sexuality. If I’m out, I’m creating a space (wanted or not) where people are going to lay a bias. And it’ll affect me, my art, the reaction to my art, the digestion of my art, the discussion of my art.
Sometimes I feel like my only options are: be out and have that affect my experience, or not have to worry about it, but stay in this metaphorical closet to the majority of the world.
Maybe I’m a little afraid of that.
But that’s okay. I’ll figure it out.