On this day, Facebook reminded me that it is International Day of the Girl. A day to stop, think and support equal access to healthcare, education, and basic human needs for every girl on the planet, independent of background. The banners hanging on the outside of our train station this morning also reminded me of something else. It is Coming Out Day!
One day after this date last year (I was a little late to the party), I came out to my friends on Facebook, and gradually came out to members of my family later on. And although a special day to come out may seem nonsensical (why not come out on every other day of the year), it was an opportunity for me. An opportunity to write about how uneasy I felt with my assigned gender.
Unfortunately, I don´t have the exact post in question anymore, at least I don´t think I do. The privacy infringements of our online world have led me to carefully erase my steps as I go along – thereby sort of erasing my past as well. Admittedly if someone really wanted to, they could probably delve in my past and still find the post on a database somewhere. Ah well.
In short, I don´t remember the exact wording which I used to announce this radical change. I wrote in the style that I usually do on social media, cheerful and with a pinch of self-mockery, expressing how much this meant to me yet trying not to make a huge big fuss over it eiher. It worked pretty well too, everyone reacted surprised yet positive and very accepting.
For those who have yet to come out I just want to give you some of my advice. The first thing I want to say is: it´s gonna be okay. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but it will be. Cultivating radical acceptance towards yourself – and not apologize for who you are – can be a big scare, especially if you´ve been trying to adapt to expectations around you.
The one thing in life that we know, is that we know nothing. Radiate who you are, and people around you may surprise you in return. They might be inspired by your renewed confidence in yourself, by your words of honesty and the trust you are giving them in sharing this news. Staying true to yourself is a gift to this world. Don´t forget it.