Coming out of the closet, the need to live without hiding

The International Coming Out Day is, above all, a day of celebration. Today we celebrate that we are visible and free, that we are not afraid of being who we are. It is also a day to encourage all those people who still haven’t taken the step, supporting them, because they usually have understandable reasons not to do it, but our happiness and freedom must always be above fear. And although in many cases it is a difficult process, it is always an easier one if we count on the help of our friends and other people that love us for who we are. The reward is living as we are, being free, visible and happy.

Salir del Armario 11O 4

Keep Calm I'm Pansexual

To this end, on this day I want to publicly announce that, after months of thoughtand learning on the matter, I realised that my previous consideration, in which I believed I was bisexual, is wrong: in truth, I am pansexual. This means that I can feel attracted to anyone, regardless of his/her sex and/or gender. It is a type of sexual orientation that I didn’t even know a year ago and that, thanks to some friends from the Plataforma de Apoyo al Colectivo LGTB+ de Valladolid (Support Platform to the LGTB+ People from Valladolid), I began to know after we created the platform.

Unfortunately, my total ignorance on pansexuality is not an isolated matter. There are sexual orientations and gender identities that suffer from an extremely higher grade of invisibility than the identities that, even though out of the heterosexist-cisexist system, are already more well-known (homosexuality, bisexuality and transexuality). This contributes to emphasise the rejection to those “invisible” orientations and identities, since anything unknown or anything that seems strange suffers from a stronger social rejection and a wider discrimination.

"The first gay soldier"

“The first gay soldier”

That is why visibility is so important: if we bring to light that we actually are a lot more than we previously thought, if we bring to light that we are their teachers, their nurses, their bakers, their doctors, their waiters, their classmates or job colleagues, their neighbours, their brothers or sisters, their children, etc., we stop being weird beings for all those people who do not understand other sexual orientations and gender identities and who can someday discriminate us. When becoming visible, we are tearing apart their false perception that we are a tiny minority group of deviants who are the exception to the rule; when becoming visible, we are re-educating them.

Salir del Armario 11O 2

Thus, for all these reasons, for ourselves firstly and for the whole society in general, we should “come out of the closet” although we find it hard at first, we should show fearlessly our sexual orientation and gender identity with the company of the people who love us for who we are, because the rewards are really worth it.

Me, coming out of my little closet. Photo for the campaign #SinArmariosCyL.

Me, coming out of my little closet. Photo for the campaign #SinArmariosCyL.

Álvaro Escudero, cisexual and pansexual visible boy 😉

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Translated by Miquel Vidal Bover, @miqmaik, from “Salir del armario, la necesidad de vivir sin ocultarse“.