Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coming Out Again

... and again and again.

This is a truth that friends with longer experience as "out" GLBT folks have shared with me, but it is only now that I am getting it. You have to come out again and again and again. OK, I get it. I get it!

I am on my way to the third lunch this week with clergy colleagues (all male, for some reason-- don't know why) to whom I have had to/ will have to come out.

The first was someone who actually knew already... he made not-so-subtle references along the lines of "some of my best friends (and family members) are gay! I love me some gays!"

The second really didn't know... he asked me about my divorce, and it really came out as a natural result of the conversation (we obviously hadn't had a sit-down for a while!).

Today I meet with a colleague who asked me not too long ago, "So why didn't your congregation make you permanent?"

To which I replied, "Let's have lunch!" So, we are doing that today. And I've decided to actually bring a copy of the letter, and let him read it while I work on my Oriental chicken salad.

Again and again and again.

And I've only been doing this for six months. Sheesh.


August said... was lunch? :)

8thday said...

I've been doing it for 35 years and counting. . .

Cecilia said...

August, it was great. Absolutely great. He is a wonderful guy, who observed (correctly) that putting those letters in the mail (to my congregation in May) must have felt like a leap off a cliff. I said yes, in fact, every time I have this conversation it feels like a leap. He said, I'll leap with you.

Grace, grace, grace.

Erika Baker said...

It gets easier.
After a while you no longer arrange lunch to come out, you simply say "oh, that's because my partner is a woman" - and move on.

Just me said...

You do it so well!

God_Guurrlll said...

Life is one big coming out party. It get's to the point where it is no big deal.

Funny story, I am part of a knitting group in my small town. When I first joined I had no problems coming out as gay, however I was really shy about telling them I was a minister. Six months into the group I finally told them that I was a minister. Led up to it real cautious like and they took it well. Then they realized how raunchy the conversations got around the table.

So yes, the GLBT thing is no big being a minister on the other hand...

SCG said...

Your clergy friend did well. Good on him! And you, too.
At the start, I had to come out again and again. And while I wouldn't say what I'm doing now is "coming out" as a lesbian, I do find myself adding my reality into conversations with straight folks (I do live in N. Florida). I don't want straight people to "forget", and I want them to remain aware that not everybody is just like them. I'm not mean or obnoxious, just plainspoken.
My more recent "coming out" experience is coming out as a church-going Christian to my queer agnostic/atheist community. That's a joy!

miekevandersall said...

cheryl say coming out is like going to the gym...and it is so true.

Jan said...

It's so good that he said he'd leap with you. We're with you, too.

MaineCelt said...

"I'll leap with you..." What a wonderful thing to hear after you bravely munched your way through your friend's reading of your letter!

It's interesting to see, in others' comments, that it's sometimes even harder to "come out" as clergy than as an LGBTQ-type person. I recall a psych professor, long ago, saying that our spiritual identities are closer to the core of our being than even our sexual identities, more raw and fragile, more full of passion and power.

Keep on keepin' on, Sister!

feelingchilly said...

I'm pretty near the start of the coming out thing but I totally understand what you mean... I keep thinking, 'does she know'/'has someone told him'??

Thanks from very far away for showing me some of the ways it can be ok, I've been lurking here for a while.