October 11 was National Coming Out Day and we asked you if there was anything you wanted to share. Here’s what some of you had to say about:
What you wish you could tell your pre ‘out’ self?
“I wish I had realized that the important people in my life will always love me for WHO I am, and that their love is not conditional on WHAT I am (or what I imagine they might expect me to be). Once I finally felt ready to come out, it was such a relief to drop the burden of keeping it quiet, and I really wish I’d done it a whole lot sooner.”
“I’d like to give the perspective of a parent of a gay woman. My daughter came out several years ago. It was not a surprise; I think parents often have an innate sense. My husband and I focused on showing her love and support. We said we felt honoured that she felt comfortable enough with us to share her news. We both hugged her and told her how much we love her and how proud we are that she is unafraid to be who she is.”
“It won’t be a ‘one-and-done’ thing, and some people won’t understand or respect you, but in the end it’s worth it because you will know who truly sees you as your real and whole self.”
What you’d like to tell folks at PHC who maybe don’t feel comfortable being ‘out’ at work?
“Coming out is not always a comfortable situation, but it will lead you to find inner peace, self-love, and compassion. It is worth it!”
“Do whatever you feel is right for you at your own speed, based on your own feelings and situation. Try not to feel pressure to confirm or the need to do anything that you don’t feel ready to say or do.”
“You don’t have to but if you choose to, it can look like whatever you’d like it to. It doesn’t have to be a conversation with a colleague, it doesn’t have to be spoken out loud. It can look like adding pronouns to your name-tag or your email signature, or putting a pride button on your lanyard, or a sticker on a notebook. Being ‘out’ is personal and looks different for everyone. Do it your way.”
Other thoughts you’d like to share with the PHC 2SLGBTQIA+ community?
“I would tell parents to show unconditional love if their child comes out to them. Reassure them that absolutely nothing changes about your love for your child. Let them be who they are. Let them flourish into the wonderful and valued individuals they are and they are becoming!”
“Continue to learn about the diversity of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, share your pronouns and ask the pronouns of others. Do your best to not accidentally offend anyone, and if you do, apologize. We’re all learning. Good intentions are what matter.”
Thank you to everyone who submitted their stories, we feel privileged you shared them with us.
If you’d like to check out what some of our PHC communications partners had to say in response to the above prompts, take a look at our story from last week. And if you’d like to learn more about Pride at PHC, visit this page of resources kindly developed by the EDI team.