‘Coming out’ is when I say ‘This Is Me’ in an honest and open way.
Gay or lesbian friends ‘come out’ regarding their sexual orientation.
Addicts ‘come out’, admitting their addiction to drink, drugs, pornography, gambling…
Christians ‘come out’, converted from a non-Christian or anti-Christian place. The children of Christian parents ‘come out’ with a personal faith.
Some ‘come out’ when converting to a different faith or leaving faith.
Patients ‘come out’ when facing an illness, disability, depression or dementia. Accepting that I require glasses or a hearing aid involves ‘coming out’.
Coming out may just be about being in love…
The first stage of ‘coming out’ is personal. I admit to myself that I have an addiction, I’ve lost my faith, I’m attracted to other men.
I then admit to others, perhaps to those closest to me. I put into words what has previously just been a thought, a fear, a conviction.
‘Coming out’ may require limited information or audience – sharing my gambling addiction only with my wife or counsellor; not sharing my medical condition with elderly grandparents or work colleagues…
‘Coming out’ may be public. Confession of an addiction; ‘giving testimony’ to faith; wearing glasses or using a wheel chair; baptism, confirmation or bar mitzvah; marriage…
‘Coming out’ may be difficult because it involves:
- Honesty – looking in a mirror and I seeing myself as I really am.
- Acceptance – accepting my past, weaknesses and bad choices.
- Responsibility – taking responsibility; not blaming others or making excuses
- Courage – speaking out to self and others about the difficult, personal and secret
- Vulnerability – taking the risk; not knowing the response.
- Faith – Examining independence or reliance on a ‘power greater than myself’.
Jesus required people to ‘come out’. Coming to terms with their past, accepting who they were, they could then can start to move on. Zacchaeus, the Samaritan woman, Legion…