This June is a special Pride month for me. It is the first time I have been fully out during Pride, and I am reveling in no longer feeling shame about the fact that I am queer. Fear of the unknown is the biggest obstacle to coming out: not knowing how people will react, not knowing how the truth will affect relationships, and uncertainty about what will be lost in the process. Living authentically doesn’t come without sacrifice, and for me, that was letting go of a 13 year marriage and a wonderful man who was my best friend. Change can be brutal.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Pride in general – what it means to live courageously and authentically and speak the truth about things that matter. What it means to actually embrace change, even after years of relative stability, predictability, and comfort. The Covid-19 pandemic proved that the status quo can fall out from under us at any time. So, what does this all mean in the context of pushing daily for radical change for the environment?
The coming out process is usually framed as a story of pain and sorrow. While that is certainly part of the experience, there is also so much joy and possibility. To me, queerness means letting go of entrenched expectations and paradigms.
“Functioning as a thing and an action, rather than just a descriptor, [queer] becomes an invitation to a dynamic realm of possibility, beyond the various binaries that imprison our minds, beyond that which is knowable.” - Lauren Duca