18 Oct National Coming Out Month
I know you are lapping up the photo of me with a perm, in a wedding dress, which was taken on my wedding day, some 28+ years ago, and who can blame you, perms were AWESOME! 😂 In case you are wondering, that wedding didn’t work out. 😂
BUT it is National Coming Out Month so please try to focus.
I am grounding myself as I prepare for ALL the posts about how YOU are loved, YOU are seen, YOU are safe…
And then tomorrow we unplug the neon welcome sign and go back to our regular programming. I loathe that part of this day yet here I am sharing.
I was lucky, like unbelievably lucky with my coming out process and story. I won’t bore you with the details but a three-hour conversation culminated with my mom leaning across the table, looking me in the eyes, and gently saying
honey, are you trying to tell us that you are gay?
Seriously MOM! After three hours of tears and fear and more tears, you swoop in and extinguish the flames of anxiety? SERIOUSLY? And yes I am.
Honey, we were sensing that you were unable to say it. Your father and I had an idea you might be. Also, are you still Jewish?
YES, I’m still Jewish (there is a reason as to why this question was asked but no need to share THAT story). I’m just now a Jewish LESBIAN.
I knew deep in the fiber of my being that when I came out, my parents, my family, would continue to love me in the fierce way they always had. When my now ex and I got married, my dad walked us both down the aisle because my dad = awesome man= me being super lucky. When we started the process of growing our family to include humans, my parents were there, every step of the way, because I was lucky.
A day doesn’t go by where I don’t feel loved by my family. And so on this day, I pause to reflect on HOW I can show up to be a better support to all of the people who don’t have the safety net of loving people who accept them exactly as they are. The fear I experienced when I told my parents I was a lesbian was short-lived and quickly melted away by hugs and kisses and soothing words of, we will always love you, no matter what. I was and still, am so very lucky.
I am an exceedingly out Queer Lesbian who by no doing of my own, has an amazing amount of privilege.
- My skin color= privilege.
- The way I present which allows me to pass and blend into most situations, affords me a great deal of safety and safety = massive privilege. So many people in the GLBTQ community are not safe, like ever, and no amount of social media posts will change that. And sadly so many of us who are part of the GLBTQI+ community don’t create safe spaces where EVERYONE in our community may thrive. WE need to do better. Our own community NEEDS to do better.
However, there are some things that have been proven to move the needle on the continuum of acceptance and true acceptance does in fact = safety.
- Check your own privilege. Become deeply and profoundly intimate with your own privilege. It’s uncomfortable and that’s ok.
- VOTE. My goodness vote at the most local level and then don’t ever stop voting.
- Speak up and out. Even when it’s scary and it’s often very scary. Trust me when I tell you that when you do speak up and out you will lose friends. That sucks, it really does and it’s painful, but still speak up.
- Engage in conversations with people you consider to be your ideological opposite. This is hard but I still believe it is what we ALL need to do in order to see the shifts that quite frankly will save us, all of us because the ship is sinking and there are no life rafts, just one big sinking ship containing all of humanity so we better figure it out. It’s easy to ‘unfriend’ it’s not easy to sit down and engage in conversations with someone who isn’t nodding in agreement. Engage in difficult conversations. Please.
- IF you are a business owner and you have a poster that speaks to how your space is a safe space, that all are welcome. REREAD the sign and make sure your business truly lives the message. A lot of businesses post the sign but somehow the message gets lost. Hope Tank is a great example of creating and maintaining a safe space for all. Follow their lead. Please.
Today is National Coming Out Day but I am not going to tell you to come out because for too many people that shit is risky and puts their safety in jeopardy. So what I will tell you to do is to take care of yourself, do what you need and want to do on YOUR timeline. AND if you need a Jewish Queer Lesbian mama to be in your corner for whatever you might choose to do today or tomorrow or the day after, please know that I got you. Like really truly got you.
About Debbie Scheer
Debbie Scheer is a humorist speaker in Denver and she is also an event emcee in Denver as well as across the country. She is also a professional speaker in Denver, humorist, emcee and auctioneer whose mix of heart and humor brings inviting energy to every event she hosts. Her magnetic presence draws in audiences and makes a room come alive with purpose, connection, and laughter. If you are interested in hiring Debbie, please contact her today!