I came out as gay in my early 20’s. It was a process, a slow revealing of life-giving truth. I had so many loving people who walked with me. I wouldn’t be who I am without that cloud of witnesses, many still alive but several older, wiser ones have passed on.
Over the past years there’s been another slow revelation as I’ve been claiming the word queer. Part of it stems from deep discomfort with gay male culture that is pathologically invested in hetero-normativity and unhealthy notions of masculinity. Part of it comes from relationships with and work alongside kindred of color, seeing the ways race, culture, and privilege intersect profoundly with sexuality. Part of it is the unique work I’m doing on (what feel like) the margins of religious communities, modeling ways of leading and worshipping that lovingly chip away at established boundaries or borders, inviting folks to play in the liminal spaces and explore possibilities outside the limits they (or others) have proscribed.
On good days I realize I don’t fit easily into any box and cherish it; on harder days it can be a bit lonely. But the reality is I’m queer and am ready to embrace that in a more public, intentional way.
Happy National Coming Out Day, friends. Wherever you are on this journey, know you’re not alone but alongside many others who are discovering and uncovering deeper truth about themselves.
To quote a phrase by James Alison, an author who helped me immensely in my first coming out, we are being ‘loved into being.’ And it’s not for ourselves solely but our inner liberation and redemption (our ‘coming out') is a blessing to the shared work of healing, reconciliation, bridge building, creating, and loving we are called to do.