What does it truly mean to come out? Is it announcing to the world one's sexual desires and acts, wearing rainbow paraphernalia and loud colors or is it that moment of identification, proudly accepting one's sexuality and being okay with it? There is no right or wrong answer, but there is a big misconception about the subject. Recently I posed the question: do you think coming out is important? Why or why not; to which an assortment of diverse answers were submitted and that’s when I noticed a trend. Not only does it seem as if a lot of gay black men are against coming out, but they also view the action negatively.
“What I feel is most important is that one must feel comfortable with himself. I am proud of WHO and WHAT I am, but I don't feel the need to have to wear a tee-shirt and parade my sexuality to prove myself to anyone. what I do sexually doesn't define Who nor What I am. and that is a 100% man. I live my own life as I please and Love who i please without restrictions or definitions.”
“Coming out doesn't even mean what it use to mean. When you’re grown and live your own life then you don't have to broadcast that you like boy pussy and or dick. Like I always say regardless of who I lay down with I'm still the same person.”
“LMAOOO....NOT IMPORTANT TO ME ITS NO ONES BUSINESS BUT THE ONE IM DATING AND WHOEVER ELSE I CHOOSE TO TELL...IM NOT TELLING NO ONE ANYTHING OR ANSWERING NO QUESTIONS IF YOUR NOT IMPORTANT TO MY LIFE.”
Seeing such comments I had to ask myself if I am the one with the misunderstanding. Never have I known coming out to mean broadcasting to the world one's sexual exploits or painting a vivid image of what occurs in one’s bedroom. In fact, I thought coming out was an act of individual catharsis, self-identity, or even just liberation. Liberation from the oppressed thought that homosexuality is such a taboo subject that it should be kept a secret; hidden from the rest of the world. Viewing coming out as unimportant is exactly the old fashioned idea that continues to set gay individuals back throughout the world. How can we expect others to become comfortable with the subject when we ourselves are the main saboteurs?
I take comfort in the fact that there are indeed like-minded individuals in the world as myself. Individuals who know that coming out is not about making your co-workers uncomfortable or advertising his or her personal business, but instead realize that coming out is an everyday journey. It is the acceptance of one’s own sexual orientation, and the comfort that comes with it.
“Important. Especially if you intend to date someone who is "OUT". It can only be an equitable relationship if you're meeting each other half way the entire way. I can't be introducing you to my family as my boyfriend, meanwhile when we go around your family I'm your "friend". I think it's a form a disrespect to the person who is OPEN, and I think it completely devalues the relationship. Don't get me wrong, if you're kicking it with a dude and for the first 3-8 months nothing comes up then fine. but after like 8 months it becomes hard to deny that you're dating someone especially if they start showing up at events. The very nature of humans is curiosity. Let's be real, though, people are NOT stupid, I personally think it's hilarious to see what lengths people will go to just to disguise their true sexuality.”
Without question, the definition of coming out is different for each individual and regardless of how necessary/unnecessary some may find it to be, there is a large misconception of what coming truly is. Coming out has and will always be that clear line between living comfortably or living based on the impressions of others. The only question left to answer is what side of the line would you rather live on?
“It is liberating and freeing if u will..I would say ALL GAY FOLKS need to come to out to themselves...make sure u comfortable with being gay b4 anyone else is comfortable with u...”