When you read the words, “coming out” it usually refers to someone coming out to the world as gay or lesbian. But I am talking about coming out in every sense of the word.
The reason why coming out for gay’s can be hard is because it is opening up a very private and integral part of themselves to vulnerability. What happens if a loved one doesn’t take the news well? What about the still fairly prevalent bigotry engraved in society?
This sense of vulnerability, fear, excitement and expectation can also happen when we “come out” about other things that are very personal to us but may still hold either social or personal taboos.
Take for example the life of a writer. You wouldn’t think that an author would have to come out of the closet about such a wonderous creative skill such as writing. But there are some that do and some that prefer to remain in the closet for numerous reasons.
If you write erotica, sexually explicit, GBLT or even romance there maybe a stigma attached. How do you break it to your ultra-conservative mother that you write about the intimate relationship between a man and his lover? What happens if you are ostracised at your work place because in your spare time you write those “porn books”?
It may not seem like a big deal to some, but to others it is a decision that weighs heavily on their minds. Is it better to tell people what you write and risk their disapproval and sometimes outright hostility or do you stay in the writers closet?
The same thing can apply to any faucet of life. Take religion as another example of a subject that holds great passion and division. Being raised a strict Catholic and then converting to Paganism may set your heart free, but do you set yourself free and tell all and sunder about your new found passion? Do you openly worship or do you take the simple pleasure of being a solitary Pagan? And what happens if someone comes out to you with a secret that pushes your moral or religious boundaries?
It’s even possible to come out of the emotional closet. Bottling up resentment and emotion causes stress and anxiety, but it is sometimes a lot easier than coming out of the emotional closet and letting someone know how you feel. You may hate confrontation, dont want to loose the person as a friend. There are numerous reasons.
There is a lot to be said for coming out of the closet in any aspect you care to mention. There is freedom to be who you truly are and to be free. There is a sense of peace and accomplishment. There is pride that you stood up for who you are and what you stand for.
But there is also a lot to be said for staying in that comfortable closet. You are in a comfort zone, safe and warm. You dont risk any relationships with others whom you know will not accept your “secret”. Sometimes it’s just a lot easier to live with.
I’m not sure which is better, it all depends on your circumstances. Only you know what is right for you. Either in or out of the closet, always be true to yourself and live with your moral compass in mind. And no matter if other people know your “secret” or not, it is always a part of you so cherish it.