Today is National Coming Out Day and I want to acknowledge how momentous a decision it is to come out, particularly in this current political climate where LGBTQ+ rights are being challenged and threatened. I see the tremendous courage it takes for my trans daughter to live her truth in a world that would rather she hide her truth in a closet. I am so proud of her and I’m in awe of her strength and determination. I worry about people whose families are not supportive or against whom religion is wrongfully used as a weapon. When a person cannot live authentically, when they are forced to pretend to be something they are not (such as straight or a different sex), it extracts a huge toll on their mental health. Suicide risk is extremely elevated for people who feel they must hide their truths from the world.
If you are a parent struggling with a child’s revealed identity, I see you. I have supported my trans daughter from the very day she came out to me, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been times when I struggled to accept the change and mourned the loss of the son I thought I had. And as parents, we see all too clearly the dangers that threaten our children and of course we would rather they be safe. It’s terrifying to know that we cannot protect them the way we could when they were little.
Today, I celebrate all those who have courageously come out and all those who support the people in their lives who are LGBTQ. Please reach out to me if I can support you.