coming out is not a ritual i believe in 4.7.13

Coming out is not a ritual I believe in. I am searching for deeper commitments to those I love and those who love me. time, distance, and struggle have taught me to celebrate silence. That means that time and time again I will look my mother in the eyes and we will see each other’s vulnerability beyond the sharpness of words, movements of tongues, vibrations of mouths and skin and anger; I am my mother’s daughter and she knows me, as I, her. Time, distance and struggle have also taught me how to ask for my needs to be met without forcing narratives of understanding. Because at the core, it is love that will act in defiance. In making peace with the feeling that I may never come out to everyone, even family, I have made peace with knowing that I will be seen holistically without disclosure of queerness and there is no fear in being wounded.

Coming out isn’t an accessible process, that is: it doesn’t seem to fit into cultures that are drastically different than those that center whiteness in queerness. Which is also to say all that my queer, migrant, yellow-brown, survivor soul has been told over the years, all of the systems and tools that have been created to deviate and soothe potential rejection does not work for me. family has hurt me, those closest to me have recited cold words in rhythmic prayer-like melodies and whiteness tells me to abandon connections that have fed, housed, and sustained me. and my family will be told by anti-bible-thumping-neo-liberal-queers that homophobia was created yesterday in their name and their efforts show that they will not let it go in vain.

Coming out values the single-dimensional-narrow-process over the person, trusts exclusively in the hegemonic vision of access to power and recognition for all the wrong things and whatever the cost someone will pay: write their checks off the backs of those of us who cannot afford to turn around. Those are not my values and those are not the values of my people who are so often being tossed under the bus in order to save a queerness centered in whiteness.

There is not a single closet I will or want to be forced out of. If anything at all, I have never lived in a closet. Most of us in our melanin, in our origins, in our history, in our futures rewritten by 4 digit numbers in textbook history, have never lived in a closet. So I don’t believe that coming out with save me. I will be inviting my mother and my family in, into my body and into my home and we will share meals, break bread, read each other’s hands and faces and we will continue to learn to live in each other’s company. I have faith that I am seen in search for deeper commitments to those I love and those who love me. 

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