ROY G BIV
Riddle of the day. How many times does someone LGTBQIA have to come out?
Answer: Over and Over.
So, Happy Coming Out Day-Every Day.
Every time I meet someone new and am asked if I'm married, every time I attend an event not LGBTQIA related, every time I run into someone from my past, and they see the gold band on my left hand, I have to come out. In my life, ROY G BIV isn’t a person, but a glorious set of colors that symbolize how incredibly diverse the world of being LGBTQIA is. It's also something that I embrace as a symbol of loving who I am and being comfortable in my skin.
My coming out story isn't unlike many that you've already heard. Yes, I knew from a young age.
No, I didn't act on it until I was well in my twenties. Oh, I had my crushes well before that. Yes, I dated and nearly married a man before I came to my senses because I was tied to a religion that would have damned me if they'd known. That bobble on my finger was real and I'm so glad I didn't.
Yes, my parents know. No, they aren't always happy about it. Oh yes, I'm now out at work, at church, and with ninety-nine percent of the people I know, and my life is so much better for it. Why the one percent left? To be honest, there are people that it's flat out dangerous to say anything to about anything, anywhere, at any time. I'm not ashamed of being a lesbian or that I'm married to another woman, and I try very hard to be a role model for those young baby dykes that are swimming to the surface.
I basically was forced out of the closet to my parents when my ex financially gutted me by stealing my identity. My parents were cosigners on my home loan, and they needed to be informed that there was a possibility I might not be able to continue making payments, given the bottomless pit she'd left me in. It wasn't easy, and I wasn't truly ready. My mother was and is a devote Jehovah's Witness. My coming out to her required her to do a great deal of soul searching to be in my life at all. I'll always be grateful.
My father, on the other hand, was not so accepting. As a matter of fact, we didn't speak for almost three years. He's more tolerant now than he was. We had to make a supply run for a project on the farm one day, and I drove us. He proceeded to tell me that he really liked Darla, but couldn't agree with my choices. My response is that he didn't have to agree with anything, but he did have to accept that it wasn't going to change. Seventeen years later, it still hasn't.
The truth is that coming out is a personal thing. No one has the right to say whether you have to or not. In some countries, it means certain death or at least imprisonment. Even in the United States where same-sex marriage is legal, we are constantly under attack, both legally and physically. We can be denied services, be fired, and certainly ostracized from families and communities even with the right to marry.
I'm not embarrassed to say I am a lesbian happily married to another lesbian, but I also recognize that saying it while standing in front of certain people could bring bodily harm to myself or my wife. What I am never afraid to do is just live my life. I try to be the example that I am a good human being first, a productive member of society, an advocate, a friend, an aunt, a public servant, a writer, a woman, and yes, a proud lesbian. It's not the only thing that defines me. Being a lesbian defines who I chose to spend my life with, in and out of my bedroom.
Being a lesbian and legally married to me is part of what cost my wife her employment. A very accomplished and lengthy career was cut short by a group of individuals that veiled their disdain into a dismissal cloaked in petty misconduct claims used to deny her the things she'd worked so hard and long for. The only thing above all that truly was disgusting was the character assassination in an attempt to justify something that had no merit.
She's not the first person it's happened to, and if the current administration has their way, she won't be the last. The fight for equality is far from over. In many ways, it never will be. So Happy Coming Out Day. For those of you that have already walked that path, big thumbs up from me. For those who haven't, I understand the choice and hope someday, your circumstances will change. I hope you'll be able to stand before all and, as Melissa Ethridge sang, say "Yes, I am."
My latest book, Forever Chance, is at the publishers in the very final stages. Look for it in early December 2019. Until then, enjoy the cover and a little sneak peek.
****Chance walked out of the emergency room and stepped off to the side of the entrance to wait on Harley. The phone call she’d received from Jax put her nerves on edge, but it wasn’t the only reason she was pacing in the emergency room’s ambulance bay. The incidents at the Wilson’s had unearthed painful memories of her father’s death.
“Aunt Maggie, someone’s at the door!” Chance looked up to see a uniformed figure through the glass.
“Who in the world would be calling at this time of night?” Maggie tightened the belt on her robe and turned the knob.
Chance watched, as her dad’s boss, Sheriff Owen Knight, took off his hat and ran his hand through his hair.
“Maggie, I need to talk to you.” He looked at Chance. “In private.”
“Please, Maggie.” Owen put a hand under Maggie’s elbow, as Dee came into the room. “Dee, can you come with us? Chance, stay here.”
Chance was thirteen years old and knew something was terribly wrong. “Sheriff, where’s my dad?”
He turned to her. “Chance, let me talk to them first, then I’ll sit down with you.”
Chance balled both of her fists. “No, if this is about my dad, tell me now!”
Dee stepped beside Maggie and wrapped Chance in her arms, as she led her into the living room. “Owen, we’re a family. Whatever you need to say, we’ll hear it together.”
The sheriff followed them into the living room. Dee settled Maggie on the couch with Chance between them and turned off the television. Maggie pulled her close, and all eyes turned to a visibly shaken Owen.
“Chance, your dad has always been one of the finest officers I’ve ever known, the bravest as well. He took an oath to protect and serve. Tonight, he stood between an innocent and someone who wanted to do harm. I don’t even know how to tell you how sorry I am.”
Maggie’s hand flew to her mouth but didn’t stop the cry that left her body. Dee wrapped her arms around them both, as Chance sat in stunned silence. Her father was gone, and her whole life would never be the same. In the blink of an eye, everything had changed.
I can’t wait to share Book 2 with you and I hope if you are able, you share your coming out story with someone who needs to hear it.