I’ve just learned that 11th October was National Coming Out Day. I paused for a moment then realised what an absurd notion, to have a coming out DAY.
For the LGBT community coming out is not something we do once and then tick it off our to do list forever, it’s an ongoing process but why should that be the case? Our heterosexual friends don’t need a “declare yourself straight” day so why do we have a gay day?
For many of us coming out is something we do whenever we meet new people. I don’t think I’m different to most but when I meet new people I’m slightly guarded. My Husband becomes my “Partner” and he/she references are omitted opting for a gender neutral option instead.
Once I’m comfortable and feel safe then I use “he” or “his”, which I feel is a more subtle way of disclosing that my partner is same sex. This is clearly different when my Husband and I are in new situations together, such as Stephen and I were when he was diagnosed.
Being a supportive husband I was there for every appointment Stephen had, to be his second set of ears and so I had the information first hand to help Stephen process it. Coming out became a regular occurrence as most appointments started with introductions.
Studies show it’s because of these very reasons that many members of the LGBT community attend medical appointments alone, they are not comfortable with coming out or outing their partners. Many (correctly) say their sexuality shouldn’t matter but clearly, the fact that we have a #NationalComingOutDay shows it still does.
That’s why we set up LGBT Cancer Support, your gender or sexuality doesn’t matter to us. Cancer doesn’t discriminate so neither do we.