When You Come Out

You wish that it was a one time event.
You may think that with all the vocabulary and political correctness the process gets easier.
There is the familiar anxiety as you feel the words forming in your throat.
You’re talking to this person who you have known forever and for one last time you want to look
at them like you have always had
because this may just be the last time.
You don’t know if the person will be revolted or accepting, or simply in their naive ignorance set
off the triggers that you have worked so hard to manage.
You don’t know if the person will be friends with you anymore.
You don’t know if the person will respond to the vulnerability of your truth by treating it as an
academic debate or an opportunity to convince you otherwise.
You don’t know if you’d suddenly be a homeless orphan.
You don’t know if you’d be jobless.
You don’t know if you’d be taken to a well meaning queerphobic elder in the family who happens
to know a “conversion” expert.
The anxiety has your intestines coiled up and the cold sweat trickles down your spine.
You can feel your heart hammering in your throat.
You struggle to keep your eyes open because you know if you closed them the tears would
instantly gush.
You take a sip of water with a trembling chin.
You picture the other person all blurry- a pixelated blob of an audience-yet you attempt to
appeal to their humanity.
Your sweaty palms are now curled up into fists.
You’re signing up for bravery and authenticity, you tell yourself.
You’re reaching a point of no return.
You tell yourself that it is okay to be alone and liberated than be alone in a crowd of facades.
For one last time you remind yourself, you are not a mistake. You’re not an abomination. You’re
not an accident.
You inhale sharply thinking of all the suffocating gender roles and heteronormativity that is
rotten to its core, that promises to suck life out of you if you falter now.

And you blurt your truth out.

The person is no longer pixelated.
You say it again, this time deliberately, clearly and powerfully.
You are free for a few seconds as the words hit your audience.
You read deep into their eyes, you notice every quiver of their eyebrow, every changing curl of
the lip, every frown on the forehead and every sigh that escapes them.
You prepare yourself for both- a cathartic hug or a loathsome shriek.
Sometimes you have an anxiety attack before the other person can respond.
Sometimes you turn back and run, for you do not want to remember your friend as a hateful
Sometimes, you collapse into their arms crying for what seems like an eternity.

It is a new morning.
You know you will have to do this over and over and over.
Everytime, you get a little bit stronger. Not because it gets easy, but because you know the
battleground so well.
Everytime, another little ray of sunshine crawls deep into the crevices of your brave heart.
It shines a little brighter each time, as it’s raw bare exposure teaches you to listen to other
hammering hearts in other rib cages, all equally scared.
Everytime you come out, you grow out.

You learn to love people instead of bodies.
You learn to embrace personalities instead of labels.
You set others free, as you inscribe your own freedom on the grave of anachronism.
You wear your truth like an armour.
You finally begin to live.

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