This piece of writing was submitted to the Office for LGBTQ Student Affairs at the University of Chicago as part of their OUTober: Coming Out Stories Project. The original text can be found in the project website under “Masaki.”
Affiliation (Staff, Faculty, Alumni, Student): Student
Coming Out Story:
I will come out tomorrow. I will come out to new friends, their families, faculty members, and colleagues. I will come out tomorrow. I will come out the day after. I will be coming out next month, next year, ten years later unless someone hateful of queers kills me by that time. Coming out is not beautiful. Love is. Acceptance is. I’d do anything to be loved and accepted. And that’s why I come out, exchanging my coming out for love and acceptance. But when will we live in a society where we can be neither in or out of the closet, where no one cares about our sexualities and identities and we are not degraded at all? I will come out tomorrow, because I want to be loved and accepted. I won’t stop, because otherwise my sexuality and identity would never find a home in this world. They would wander about, scattered, sliced into pieces, so tiny that no one could see them. I won’t stop, because I’m weak and always in need of love and acceptance. It’s the reverse of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell——today’s (at least) urban queers face Do Tell, but We Won’t Ask, the slightly altered, liberal version that together with DADT stems from the whole closet system.
I’m not sure what, or who, or how, or where I am. I am not L or G or B or T or Q, but I’m in no way what’s usually seen as non-LGBTQ. But I’m not interested in “I” anymore. Here’s my note for you, reader; stop reading this as soon as possible, and start thinking about the entire system that is homophobic, transphobic, misogynous, racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-abortion, ethnocentric, able-ist, and classist that we have in the United States of fu*king America and beyond. I’m sure coming out stories are insightful, sometimes beautiful, sometimes heart-breaking, and by and large meaningful in our larger queer politics. But, let us not focus on what WE have to say to the world, but what YOU can do, either individually or collectively, no matter what sexuality or identity you may have, to change the world. Please, oh please! Writing this piece so far has already taken me a good 2 hours. And tonight I will most likely dream of a society where no queer person has to write a coming out story for the rest of the world. No offence; I’m glad you’re reading this. Thank you for your time. The only thing I would like you to remember when you go home and watch TV and take a shower and go to bed and wake up tomorrow morning and leave your house and go to school/work/etc. and chat with your friends/coworkers/et al., is, please thank us, at least to some extent, for taking our time writing these stories, which required all of us to go back to memories that are not always pleasurable to recall.