I Stopped Coming Out
By Jude Samson
There were certainly times when I got the traditional “why don’t you marry a gay guy and then whatever you guys do with someone else behind closed doors is your own business?” to the “it’s a phase” and the “you haven’t been with the right guy” and every other potential cliché response anyone who has come out has probably heard a million times. Through the years I attended various pride events, wore pride jewelry or clothing, or in some other way made it known that I was in the LGBT/SAGA spectrum as a way of coming out.
On March 22, 2014 I began my first shot of testosterone and for me, that was the ‘official’ moment where I started my transition. While I had previously started transitioning for many years prior the first shot was the moment where I felt solidified and knew my life was about to change drastically. I originally hoped to stall in having to tell my family, but my sister’s wedding that August combined with how rapidly the testosterone started working forced me to, yet again, come out to family.
“NOW THAT I HAVE FINALLY STARTED TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN I REALIZE THAT I DON’T COME OUT ANY MORE.”
Now that I have finally started to feel comfortable in my own skin I realize that I don’t come out any more. I am. Being a trans man is just one aspect of myself. Such as having brown hair and hazel eyes are aspects of myself that come together to make a whole. It has only more recently occurred to me that I no longer come out to anyone. One thing that both LGBT/SAGA folks and heterosexuals have both said is “why do you have to come out?” I am in search of a world where we don’t have to come out. While we are still far from living in a society that does not default to male/female gender-binaries or that a person is heterosexual, a greater portion of our society is learning. Even if their initial assumption is binary/straight, when told otherwise many people will take the news in stride and correct themselves.
Each day I speak to many people, whether it’s going about my errands or at work or I am told that I am not easily “clocked.” If anything, people assume I’m a gay man (although I am not) – but a male nonetheless. I do not speak around topics and I don’t skirt issues. I make it a point to just speak about myself and my life just like every other straight/cis person. Some people can figure out I’m trans if they listen close enough or long enough, some people still have no idea. Some people don’t know until I become friends with them on facebook where I frequently post about trans issues or trans news. Some people aren’t sure and they will ask. As long as they’re not being rude of obnoxious about it, I will certainly speak with them about the subject.
It’s not that I’m not proud, it’s not that I’m scared (although these days it’s a good idea to use some caution), and it’s not that it isn’t a big deal. But when we’re striving to enter a society that considers us “normal” or sees us as an everyday part of the world in general, I feel living my life in a way that I don’t feel I have to come out all the time and can just enjoy existing as the person I am is a very important step towards that. Am I one of the masses? Not by a long shot on so many levels, but I am human and I like myself as just another human in this world.