The consequence of “coming out” culture
Labels can be non-flexible. Colors are imaginary and subjective interpretations, yet blue in all shades is always blue. Thanks to survival instincts, we have adopted adjectives as safety signals in communication. “Bear is deadly.” “Berry is tasty.” When you shop for eggs in America, etched on the carton you’ll read “PERISHABLE: MUST BE REFRIGERATED.” Anything that has this label must be refrigerated with an expiration date and therefore is perishable. It is misremembered that things like sexuality and diet aren’t always so binary.
When we continue to add labels to ways of being, we are eliminating the unique element of authenticity, freedom of choice. If a minority group’s label differs from a general population, then they’re simultaneously labeled as different. If you claim to be one thing, there is no sexuality or vegan police patrolling for mislabeling. If you claim to be one thing, there is no sexuality or vegan police patrolling for mislabeling or, worse, cheating. If we want to normalize lifestyles of flexibility of choice, we need to stop promoting only our label differences, but commonality of authenticity: we are unique, we hold the power to change, and we can love for any and no reason at all.
National Coming Out Day – which awkwardly aligns with too many other holidays and now Indigenous People’s Day (the rightful heir of October 11 because Columbus was a vicious warmonger) – is an outdated celebration of differences. The act of coming out as different in the past made people angrier at a community’s lack of commonality. From the Holocaust to the Pulse nightclub mass-shooting, the Capital insurrection, violence to trans black woman – people are murdered for being different. Hate groups target people who are different than them.
We celebrate the first gay, trans, bi, lesbian everything, like other deserving trailblazing minorities. This was really about the lack of first vegan “__’ milestones. In a time where connection and belonging is a limited resource and group-think has already divided us into algorithmic-determined social clubs, we need to reexamine the importance and promotion of coming out. No amount of comments, likes, retweets, or any other quantifiable statistic can prepare someone for the feeling that they don’t belong because they are different or aren’t different enough. People feel that despite a label.
Pride is a necessary celebration of confident authenticity. Labels serve their purpose; to keep us safe and out of danger or even to inform a different part of ourselves. What if there is a reason why heterosexual people don’t “come out.” Fly your flag with pride. Yell your label from the rooftops, just remember to accept the consequence of only acknowledging your differences. How can you think and be outside the box, when you say you’re in one?
Ps. If you comment on this, please avoid the words right and wrong. Not all choices aren’t intended to be universal. I’m eager to hear your opinion.