Monday, 5 June 2017
A Big Queeroversary!
You know what? 2017 is a significant milestone for me -- it marks 30 years since I came out! Yes, in 1987 I was a young 'n tender Baby Dyke, all fresh and dewy-eyed. And now here I am, a mere 3 decades later, a crusty 'n cantankerous Old Dyke who's been around the block more times than I care to remember, thank you very much!
I was 30 years of age when I came out. That seems so old now when I look back, certainly compared to young kids today who come out when they're teens or even younger! However, members of my Baby Boom generation typically came out later, often not until early adulthood or even middle age.
Partly it was because the oppressive silence, erasure and condemnation that surrounded homosexuality in those days made it harder for us to recognize, come to terms with and be comfortable with who we were until we were more mature adults. I first realized my same-sex attraction to women in 1976 when I was 19. It scared me to death.
And partly it was because we were the first generation in history to come out en masse. Even in the 1980s, coming out was still pretty uncharted territory, a scary and hazardous thing to do. You had to be prepared to lose everything in those days. Even if you were super lucky and didn't lose your family, friends, job, career, apartment, physical security (through bashing) or your health (through the new AIDS crisis), you still had to be emotionally prepared in case you did.
But you know what? Coming out was and is always worth it!
Looking back, I can honestly say that coming out was the Best Decision of my Life! There is no substitute for fully and freely living your life as who you truly are. So 30 years later, I am still celebrating!