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October 11, 2007

Happy National Coming Out Day

OMG it's National Coming Out Day!

I came out when I was good and ready, not necessarily on Oct. 11. But it's good to be out. The air is fresher and I don't feel the need to express my sexuality in an airport bathroom - I can do that in a gay bar, and it's sooo liberating.

I came out after I explored my sexuality during a summer study abroad trip in Europe waaay back in 1990 or so. The first half of that summer I studied forestry management in the Black Forest of Germany, and pollution studies in Poland (a GREAT place to study pollution, fyi). The rest of the summer I whored around in Köln, Oslo, Amsterdam and London, and came back wondering why Stevens Point, Wisconsin didn't have festive, open-air gay bars like those other cosmopolitan cities. I didn't feel like readjusting from megacity gay life to semi-rural gay life, so just stayed out. That and I felt like the secret life I was beginning to live was alienating me emotionally from my family and close friends.

Coming out wasn't as hard as the anxiety of planning to come out, or the anxiety build-up of how I thought people would react. For a while after coming out I was trying to manage people's reactions, then I just gave up and let them roll how they would. But in most cases relationships strengthened rather than soured. There is something about truth and honesty that makes people believe in you more. I think it's also known as integrity. People respect that in a person.

I think coming out for personal reasons is just as important as coming out for the good of gay society. More healthy, happy, open gay people mean a better perception of who we really are. Being closeted is a kind of emotional constipation, and when you finally drop that big load in the psychic toilet, you finally feel sooo good inside, and you're pretty much regular thereafter.

Posted by jimbo at October 11, 2007 9:28 AM


Coming Out is living the way you were intended to be. I have always felt that I had "two lifes" that were divided in periods BEFORE and AFTER I cameout. I am slowly finding that I have always had just one life and I am emotionally trying to accept that.

Posted by: brettcajun at October 11, 2007 11:26 AM

Köln is one of the unknown (to Americans generally) treasures, both for its gay life and as a city in general. What a great place to figure in your coming out story.

Posted by: John at October 11, 2007 11:31 AM

Only you (and my husband) would compare the relief of coming out to that of taking a giant dump. But, oddly, it completely works.

Posted by: Frank at October 11, 2007 12:21 PM

People who knew me before and after I came out (in 1985!) all say that I became visibly happier. Being in the closet sucks. I feel sorry for people like Senator Craig and Rev. Haggard.

Posted by: homer at October 11, 2007 1:33 PM

Yay Gay! You put it perfectly Jimbo.

Posted by: Sarah Jean at October 11, 2007 2:31 PM

Happy National Coming Out Day, Jimbo! I've been a long-time reader and thought today would be a good day to come out as such. I love your bowel function analogy. Unfortunately, since I've been in med school, I'm finding that I have to hold it in sometimes to get to where I want to be.

Posted by: DCMedStudent at October 11, 2007 3:09 PM

I used to have zits all over my face. Then I came out and both my skin and mind were clear!

Posted by: Marc at October 11, 2007 4:32 PM

I came out after I explored my sexuality during a summer study abroad trip in Europe waaay back in 1990 or so.

Heheh. I came out in '79. Normally I'd feel old saying that. I'll choose to feel accomplished instead. Happy coming out day.

Posted by: DougT at October 11, 2007 4:49 PM

Y'all are a bunch of kweens! Thank Gawd!

Posted by: Ohio Tom at October 11, 2007 8:52 PM

Unless of course you are coming out of the HIV closet as well. Then the constipation analogy is really not applicable. And many gay men would want you to stay in that closet, I am clean, UB2.

Posted by: don at October 12, 2007 1:06 AM

Nothing like a bunch of German wood to make a guy wanna come out, stat.

Posted by: kenneth at October 16, 2007 1:08 AM

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