Uplift: Uplifting LGBTQ+ Experience Within and Beyond Unitarian Universalism

National Coming Out Day 2019

text: Be Bright! Be Bold! Be YOURSELF. "YOURSELF" is in rainbow letters and the UUA chalice logo is in the corner also in rainbow colors

By Jude Sylvan

October 11th is the day we celebrate LGBTQ+ folx who have or are coming out! Anyone who comes out or who has come out and who wants to be celebrated for it is worthy of that celebration! May we lift them up and celebrate them!

At the same time as we celebrate those who identify as "out," let us acknowledge hold space for the many LGBTQ+ folx who have not, and may not ever feel as though coming out is the right choice for them.

You do not need to do anything to "become" LGBTQ+. You do not need to come out to be yourself. You are sacred, valid, and beautiful just as you are, right now.

I feel as though there is now a narrative in the popular cishet "liberal" sphere that "coming out" should be THE MOMENT for LGBTQ+ folx that at the same time makes us complete, validates us, and heals all trauma we have experienced up till that moment. That's not the way it works for many LGBTQ+ people.

Not to mention, for those of us who identify as "out," "coming out" is not something most people can just do once. Every time I tell new people my pronouns, every time I mention "my wife" for the first time, I'm coming out. Heck, as a bisexual and nonbinary person, I often have to come out REPEATEDLY to the same people in order to "remind" them of my gender and sexual identities. Plus many of us are out in some situations, and not out in others. There is no one way being "out" looks.

There is no one way to be LGBTQ+, and that's part of the unique beauty of our community. If you are out, we celebrate you. If you are coming out, we celebrate you. If your journey looks different from that narrative, we celebrate you, yourself, as you are.

Blessed are the queer! All of us.

About the Author

Jude Sylvan

Jude is a 2nd-year Mdiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School, and is currently a UUA Aspirant. Before pursuing their call to ministry, Jude found fulfillment and success as a writer, producer, performing artist, and teacher. Jude is the author of Kissing Oscar Wilde (2013 Write Bloody Publishing)...


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