As the world has begun LGBTQ History Month, something I’ve been thinking about a lot is the aftermath of all of these stories, lives and events; upon reflection, a seemingly small action actually has a huge impact.

Many queer narratives revolve around the coming out story, which is often told as a singular point in time: one conversation, or an intervention-style sit down with family members, or a dramatic declaration in front of a crowd of people.  National Coming Out Day is a great example.  As much as I love and cherish the idea, I wonder if it glosses over what coming out really means.  It’s great to create a safe space for one day, in a similar vein to Pride, but my question is this: are we equipping people, especially young people, with the tools and knowledge they need for what comes next?
Personally, I never made a grand coming out declaration, or even had a frank conversation with anyone. At times, I felt like I should.  However, it doesn’t fit my personality at all, and I was too focused on not wanting to be gay anyway.   If I had, I think it would’ve been because I bought in to the idea that it’s just one conversation out of the millions we’ll have in our lifetime.   Even after I started talking about it more, I didn't really realize how it would impact me. 

I'm happy that coming out is becoming less of a big deal, and that schools are making the effort to celebrate National Coming Out Day.  But I wonder—after the rainbow shirts and unicorn banners are put away, who sticks around to make sure kids are okay?

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