National Coming Out Day was last week. Since 1987, it has been observed every year on October 11, a date established to celebrate the bravery and inner-strength it takes for someone to say, "I'm gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual."
It's also a holiday for all of us LGBT individuals, which explains why your office is not quite so fabulous today. Just kidding; we are all present ... much to the chagrin of some lingering homophobes.
Now, if you're scratching your head and wondering, 'Why write about National Coming Out Day now?,' it's to make a point: There's life after coming out, just like there was life before coming out, and life during the moment you uttered the words, "I'm gay."
Nothing has really changed, except another little sliver of who you are at your core has been revealed. In a perfect world, it would read like one of my favorite greeting cards, which is a plain, white card with an outside cover that reads, "So you're gay." The inside says, "That's all?"
However, after all the hubbub of any grand announcement, your life comes back into focus. Life goes on and you wonder what's next. That's the cue to pull out your notebooks and pens and get ready to take some quick notes for this week, the one after National Coming Out Day. Oh, and you don't have to be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender to go where we're going! This is a non-discriminatory post ... as it should be!
- Bask in the glow ... then take action. It feels great knowing you stepped into yourself. Whether you came out of the closet, or you declared an end to a dead-end relationship, remember this: No one ever got anywhere by just declaring who they are or what they are going to do. The next step is action, action, action. Do something, anything to move you forward more deeply into your new, authentic self.
- Walk, don't run. Adrenaline rush be gone. Actually it will be gone faster than you can say, "Make that a dirty martini, extra dirty!" Once the thrill of admitting who you are is over, you may be tempted to leap into your new life. Caution, Will Rogers. Walk before you run. As exciting as it is to be free, take the time to breathe it in, sit still with the experience and stay rational. It will keep the pitfalls and stress at bay.
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