This morning, I was inspired reading through the #NationalComingOutDay posts on Twitter with so many great stories and messages. I came to terms with who I am a long time ago, but I’ve never voiced it.
One of the reasons for that is I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t be in another relationship due to my chronic pain issues. I saw what it did to someone who cared about me and I didn’t want to burden anyone again. As hard as it is to live with chronic pain, I think it’s even harder to watch someone you care about suffer day in and day out.
I kept quiet, thinking it didn’t matter as I was never going to be in a relationship anyway. But, it does matter. It matters in what I believe in and the issues I want to support. It matters in that it’s who I am and who I want to represent to the world. I am a lesbian.
It’s not like the people who are closest to me didn’t know or that people didn’t know just by looking at me, but I had never voiced my truth. Until this morning, after reading those inspiring posts. I’d been thinking about it lately anyway after a friend of mine point blank asked me and I couldn’t answer because I felt like the first person I should tell was my son. So, that’s what I did. I contacted my son this morning and told him my truth. His response? – “I love you soooo much, mum. Happy Coming Out Day and thank you for sharing. I love you to infibity and beyond.” (Infibity is how he pronounced infinity as a child and the phrase ‘to infibity and beyond’ from Toy Story has become a term of endearment between us.)
With that done, I told two of my sisters and received this response – “No surprise at all! I’m so happy you can finally speak your truth.” My oldest sister gave me a huge hug and told me she loves me.
I knew going in that the reactions of my family would be loving and supportive by the way they accepted and loved my son when he came out. I’ve always been so proud of him for not being afraid to be who he is, with good reason, obviously. He was doing what I hadn’t – living as his authentic self.
Am I worried what people will think of me? No, I think most people already knew or suspected. This is just me finally admitting it to the world.
Do I think my book sales will be affected? Possibly. Most of my books, with the exception of Ailey of Skye, have at least one lesbian character, so I don’t think it will be much of a surprise to my readers either. I can only hope that they will be as accepting as my family.
The whole purpose behind my writing is to empower and inspire women – all women – and to help them with their healing. To do that I need to be honest about who I am.
Will I lose social media followers? Likely, but I want to be able to stand up for LGBT rights, women’s rights, and children’s rights, not just as an LGBT mum, but as a lesbian. Coming out will allow me to do that more freely.
I want to thank everyone who posted encouraging and informative posts under the #NationalComingOutDay hashtag on Twitter today. Your thoughts and messages gave me the final push I needed. Thank you!
And to my family – I love you and thank you for the unconditional love. I wish everyone could be as accepting and inclusive as our family.
LGBT Resources in Ontario:
The 519 (Toronto)
LGBT Youth Line
PFLAG Ontario Chapters
Rainbow Health Ontario
KIND Space (Ottawa)
S.O.Y. – Supporting Our Youth (Toronto)
Sherborne Health Centre LGBT Program (Toronto)
Ten Oaks Project – Camp Ten Oaks and Project Acorn
Around the Rainbow, Family Services Ottawa
Rainbow Resource Centre (Northwest Ontario/Manitoba)
W.E. Transgender and Allied Support Centre
Toronto DSB guide – Trans and gender nonconforming students
El-Tawhid Juma Circle LGBTQ+ Mosque & prayer space (Toronto)
Government of Ontario – Change sex designation on ID