National Coming Out Day 2021: Reflecting on my own coming out story

TW: Please note that this post contains sensitive topics that could be triggering.

Today is National Coming Out Day which is super exciting for some and can be difficult for others. I’m taken back to 2010 when I decided to come out to my family. Things didn’t go well, to say the least. And feelings (even from 10+ years ago now) come back to me strong this time of year.

10+ years ago, I started making a plan to end my life. I won’t get into all the details, but somebody intervened and saved me. Today I donated to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in honor of that person and to celebrate life.

Things have substantially improved for me since coming out. My family and I reconnected and they fully accept me and my husband. I found SharePoint (SharePoint found me?) and it not only gave me a career these past 6+ years, but helped me find my passion and ultimately the incredible colleagues I get to work with at Centriq each day. And the best thing to happen to me over all these years was meeting my husband William who has loved and supported me even when I couldn’t love myself.

Why am I sharing this with you?

We are all human – and we can all struggle with our identity, our mental health, friend and family issues, etc. And if we’re not talking about those stories with one another, we may be missing an opportunity to help someone going through something similar.

Know that if you’re celebrating your LGBTQ+ identity today quietly, with close friends and family, or broadcasting it across the internet that you’re celebrating along with countless others around the world and I applaud you for your courage and for being your authentic self.

If you’re an ally, reach out to your out friends and help them celebrate a little today – I can’t imagine I’m the only one who has mixed emotions today.

And if you’re struggling a bit today too, that’s okay. You’re not alone, and you are more than welcome to send me a message on Twitter or LinkedIn any time you want to chat.

You are unique and loved. You are beautiful as you are. You can do anything.

Want to talk to someone?

If you or someone you know needs someone unbiased to talk to (you don’t have to be suicidal), put the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number in your phone (and get creative with the contact name if you want it listed discreetly): 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat with someone if that’s more comfortable. The Trevor Project is also an amazing resource, and specifically for LGBTQ+ individuals.

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