Fly Your Flag.

Photo by Matt Popovich

Photo by Matt Popovich

Today is National Coming Out Day.  Yesterday was World Mental Health Day.

I think it is fitting for these two days to butt up against each other.

Being in the closet destroyed my life.  Coming out saved it.  Yes, there is an illness involved that affects me tremendously to this day, but not in the way it once did.

And so I say, come out.  Come out. Come out.  Unless it is not safe, and then stay in your cozy closet until it is safe to come out.  But even if you cannot tell the world, tell yourself, and learn to love yourself for exactly who you are.

Because learning to accept yourself, flaws and all is one of the most transformational things you can do.  And the process never ends. 

There are still parts of myself that I wince when brought to light.  Area’s that still bring a fury of self hatred when I see them.  But I am learning to love them.  I am learning to love myself.

And step one was coming out.

Step one was finding the people who loved me.  Who loved me not “even though I’m gay” but loved me because I am who I am.  And there are a lot of those people.  And I am blinded to it much of the time.

I have friends whose opinions on the sinfulness of being LGBT has changed over time as they have seen me grow and thrive.  I have family who cannot be in the same room as me because they are so terrified that I am going to hell.

I have my people.  And they support me.  And they love me.  And you are one of them because you are reading these virtual chicken scratches thrown up on a website for all to see.

I came out, and I found my people.

We all live in closets of some sort.  Some are more damaging than others.  Some are silly little closets, and others are massive and all encompassing.

No matter who you are,

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

There are people out there who geek out about the same things you do. 

There are people out there who are huge fan’s of a fairly bad formerly Christian Ska band from the late 90’s.  (hi fans of Five Iron Frenzy.  I see you and I love you)

There are people out there who read books about coffee for fun, and people out there who go to Laura Ingalls Wilder Fests and people who love the goofy weird things you do.

They say to let your freak flag fly.

But maybe it’s just a flag.

Maybe it’s a rainbow flag, maybe it’s not.

But fly that fucker.

Fly it high.

Find your people.

Because your people will repeatedly save your life.

I know mine have.  And continue to, every damn day.