Why I Decided to Do the Scariest Thing I’ve Ever Done
I felt if I didn’t come out soon, the world would do it for me. So I came out by Medium post. But I didn’t expect my story to go viral.
This is a post I originally wrote on Medium.
(If you haven’t read it yet, you’re welcome to jump over and read my original post here. You don’t have to read it to get anything out of this post, although it would probably enhance it.)
First of all, if you haven’t read the blog post above, I’m transgender (or trans for short). I’m at the best point in my life I’ve ever been. Happy, successful, things are going wonderful. But not without an immense amount of depression and mental torture to get here.
It was probably April of 2015 when I started to think about seriously coming out of the closet. I had been out some before I went back to finish my degree in 2011. When I started back at my university, I went “stealth.” Stealth is a term trans people use to say that they are just trying to blend in with the rest of the world and not really out themselves. It was easier this way to try to get involved in geeky school activities and not be in LGBT activites anymore. It actually was refreshing to feel like I was just one of the women there (which I was), but I did start to have a growing nagging feeling that I needed to come back out.
In May, I ended up joining a Slack chat group called LGBTQ in Tech. This group included some of the first trans people I had interacted with in a long time. And they were in tech, the field I loved! It was great. One thing I did notice though was a lot of them were out from the beginning of their transitions and nothing bad really was happening to them. All of the things I feared about being really publicly out didn’t seem to be a thing with them. And even as I slowly told more real life friends about my trans status, I was just getting entirely positive comments.
I had been a member of PFLAG-Kansas City for years. (PFLAG is basically a support group for parents of LGBTQ folks.) It’s been a wonderful and warm supportive group, like “walking into a hug” as one of the members puts it. In July, they had asked if I would consider being vice president or president. I love supporting all of the people I can, but I knew stepping up to such a high leadership role would mean needing to be more vocal in the community. I thought on this for a couple of days and realized I was okay with this.
After starting to follow LGBTQ people on Twitter, as well as having my conference talk from June be so successful, and having a couple of viral posts on Twitter, I started to notice my circles were squishing together fast. I really started to worry that if I didn’t come out, someone would do it for me, and I knew that wouldn’t be good.
I needed to come out. But I… didn’t really want to JUST come out.
Please read the rest of this post over on Medium.