By Xinji Tang
Looking at the National Coming Out Day headline on The Record, my thought brought me here: it is not the greatest feeling in the world if you happen to be gay. You have to be really strong to be gay. To come out, it doesn’t mean you are not gay anymore.
The ones that are out are always happily out. Then on the National Coming Out Day, people say “let’s celebrate” the people in the LGBT community for coming out! I don’t understand why we need to celebrate someone for coming out or the act of coming out itself. Shouldn’t coming out be viewed a very neutral thing and a personal decision? Celebrating National Coming Out Day is us placing values in the act of coming out, showing preference for the ones who come out over those who don’t.
It is pointless to celebrate National Coming Out Day. I understand it is about raising the awareness that there are LGBT people around us who are just like you and me, empowering people to be brave and love themselves and pushing the society to accept people for who they are.
But think about it: will the CSB/SJU community change its perception and position of the LGBT population and issues, just because, say, 100 students came out on the same day? I’ll answer the question for you. No, not a single bit of rethinking.
Should I come out as gay when I feel the need to come out as gay? My advice is: don’t.
My question in the first place is, why should you feel such a need? When you believe this is not the right place, right time to come out, this probably isn’t the right place, right time. It doesn’t matter how many success stories that you heard of others coming out. How cool, how nice, how thrilling and how inspiring it may seem to be, it doesn’t matter. The whole point is whether coming out makes you a fuller, happier and better person.
So to make your coming out a success story is more important than coming out, because nobody comes out for coming out. But a success cannot be duplicated. As for some gays, not coming out, on the contrary, is the success story.
Your families and your best friends want to feel something deeper with you than someone you just met on the street. And so I love my family and besties; they love me back. I guess this is the same case for everyone.
That means, when I try to tell them what I am, because they treasure me so much, they wouldn’t want the world outside to bash me with rains and storms and see me get hurt. When I share with them my deepest secrets, they shelter me, not sell me out to the whole world. Out or not out is never a problem to them; and they don’t want to see it bothering me either.
Being gay feels so good to me now. I am actually so comfortable being gay, the idea of thinking myself to be straight would even make me cringe a little bit. It takes much more to come out to oneself than to all others. To accept who we are and to live without fears, is the only way, not National Coming Out Day.
This is the opinion of Xinji Tang, SJU senior