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LIFE BEHIND THE HANGER: THE STRENGTH BEHIND STANDING OUT

Part 3 of our series “Life Support: From Set Back To Comeback” looks at how to overcome being “outed” at home AND church by someone you considered a friend. At the moment you think you will never get over it. If you live with your non supportive parents, you have to adjust to a new way of living until you are old enough to leave. Altogether it could be the recipe for disaster as we have seen from horrific stories over the years. Today’s post will help those going through this see use this set back as an eventual comeback.

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Each morning, you run to your closet or dresser drawer, and decide to ask yourself “ Who will I be today?” You may make that decision by considering your feelings, taking in to consideration where you are planning to go for the day, or for a special occasion. What a person wears really makes statements in their life and how they want to be perceived by others they encounter. That’s why the term “coming out” is such a symbolic statement. Simply is represents that we’re finally reaching into that closet of ours, and bringing out what really represents us, our beliefs, and who we are truly happy being.

Being able to step out from a comfortable place in life is a very scary feeling. Some young men and women that I have encountered who have shared experiences of their coming out stories, or as I like to call it “Transformation Phases” had very different transitions. Some mentioned positive and up building experiences after opening up about who they are and how they want to be truly seen as. While in the same token, some have had negative initial feedback. Regardless of either scenario, one common thread was present in a lot of the tales told to myself, a sense of release after letting it out!

Imagine, a bottle of soda (or pop depending on what side of the States your from) being shaken up rapidly, and then suddenly opened. All of its contents sprayed all over the surrounding area leaving a mess. But after the foam and fizz has settled, you still have a calmed portion of soda pop left in your bottle. That is similar to the opening up and standing in ones truth. Many young ones, as myself, went through life having to hide who we were from our friends and family because “the times” weren’t that open to people who Love differently than the majority. The stigmas built a separation within a separation is a scene that has created fear in many brothers and sisters who Love differently than the majority. That fear is dying more and more each day, especially in media, marriage rights, and other attempts to being seen as equals, and as fellow people.

The power in “coming out” is within the control of expressing a part of yourself to people who matter and may love. On the contrary, there are occasions where some people don’t get that luxury of coming out “on the edge” on their own, some times people are outed. I can personally speak on this topic because I experienced that myself. I discovered how I love and embraced it at a mild age, but sadly I shared my truth with someone who didn’t accept it and didn’t get to share it with those I love on my own. In response, I was reprimanded and I was not seen in the best of light. But later in life, I discovered not only did fear of revealing myself to those I loved was present in the situation, but also that the fear that my loved ones had was because of not knowing what to do themselves and fearing the unknown.

Honestly after forgiving the process and accepting each other in who we are and not letting go of the love, me and my family are rebuilding and loving each other more and more and in our own truths. Growth is present if you seek it, and that is the ultimate prize I must say for myself. Not being afraid to be who I am and who I will always be is an amazing feeling, and it started with standing in my truth. When one finally sheds layers to finding themselves, there is nothing left to see but your truth.

Coming out can seem scary, overwhelming, or even downright frightening, but it is always a personal decision when one is ready and feels it’s a safe to make. There is a bright new world off the “Hanger” and I believe everyone should have the right to show the world who they really are and are happiest being. No one can live your life for you but yourself. Why not do whatever you can to be comfortable and happy living it? Define your joy, define your truth, and live in it every day. So the question is, “ Who are you going to be today?”

National Youth Pride Services,

Chicago, IL 60601

Phone. 773-YPS-8051