Let’s start the upcoming weekend off with a #culturalinertia article by Jessi Hempel for Time Magazine about “coming out” that reminds us of a few important things.
The first is that while we normally, and rightly, use the term in reference to people who are not cisgender “coming out of the closet” it can be much more than that. It can be no longer keeping any important aspect of your identity secret; whether you are hiding it from your family, friends, social groups, coworkers, employers, neighbors, the public in general, or even yourself.
Generally, people keep these aspects secret to prevent ridicule and rejection, whether the secret is innocent and harmless to others or not. Sometimes it is done out of a concern for self preservation. Those who disapprove of the secret aspect of your true identity might react violently. Many parents have been known to kick their own kids out of their homes or worse, drive them to either runaway or commit suicide to escape. Violent hate crimes are committed all the time for people who openly display their non-traditional gender identities, sexual identities, or religions.
But these aren’t the only aspects we hide.
We may hide some talents or skillsets, we may pretend to be smarter or less intelligent in order to fit in or not be intimidating, we may be afraid to talk about the hobbies we enjoy or the genres of entertainment we prefer. It could be we are hiding a polyamorous relationship, or a romantic couple could hide their own mutually chosen power dynamic from others.
The advent of social media has made it easier for adults and even some teens to at least partially come out with their secrets. And for the most part that can be a good thing. Suppressing a key aspect of your identity is often toxic for our mental health.
However, it has also opened the way for many to come out with the toxic and harmful aspects of themselves. I contend that this is also good from a #Culturalinertia aspect.
When these people self-identify and begin to live their own lives out loud it shows us who needs to be disempowered, and which people and businesses to avoid or cut loose from our own lives.
Ultimately, coming out is about choosing to accept whatever personal consequences there may be for freely being your authentic self in all situations.
When doing so causes no personal harm to any other person, there should be no consequences.