A Gratitude Filled Follow-Up

This week has been incredible. I just wanted to pop in with a few sundry thoughts that I’ve had since my last post.

The way you’ve all come along side me in the past few days is incredible. I don’t think I understood the joy that I was subjecting myself to when I came out to you all on Monday. I knew that I was opening myself up to criticism. I knew that some people would say, “you go girl” (which is one of my least favorite phrases). I thought that was as far as it would go. But I was selling you short. I didn’t get either of these responses. There are a few people who have been notably silent and while that is not lost on me, I’m okay. Because for the most part, since Monday I have been getting texts, comments on Facebook and Instagram, direct messages, two emails and a partridge in a pear tree. And you’re pouring your heart out to me and I’m just so humbled. And grateful.

Grateful for this community and grateful that I listened to the drumming in my heart that told me that it was time to say something. Time to put words to this. Time to shine light. I’ve gotten so many messages that say, “me too.” Some of you only recently discovered a new part of yourself. Some of you have known your whole lives. A lot of you have been living with secrets. But I’m so glad you’ve told me. I’m so friggin’ glad you told me. It’s been a bit of a lonely summer (albeit an exciting and life-giving one) in this regard. I thought I’d maybe hear from one person who said they could relate to what I’d said. I didn’t expect a dozen. So, thank you.

I know that some of you still don’t really know what to say when someone comes out to you–and that’s okay. We’re all in a perpetual state of learning. I want to share with you something that a friend of mine wrote on Facebook a few days ago:

How to respond when someone comes out to you (from someone who has come out):

1. Make sure the first words you respond with are I love you. Full stop. No buts. Say it first, say it last, and keep saying it. Coming out feels like standing there with no skin on and begging someone not to slap you. Give them some skin back by making sure they know you care. If they’re trusting you with this information, it is clear you’re someone they care about. Honor that.

2. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but you don’t have to tell us how you feel about homosexuality. We know what you think, we’ve been listening to you. Having you reiterate it to us is not going to change who we are, and in that moment it only drives a wedge between us. We aren’t telling you because we want to convince you of something different. We are telling you about this important piece of who we are because we love you. Keep this in mind.

3. It’s okay to say that you don’t understand. It’s okay to say you don’t know what you think or feel. I’s okay to tell us how uncomfortable you are. This is where the I love yous come in handy. Use them a lot, sprinkle them between the I don’t know what to says.

4. It’s okay to ask questions. We probably are hoping you will. There’s likely a whole lot that we don’t have answers to, but we can tell you that. Ask us how we are holding up, how we feel right now. Be open and listen well. Hearing us out makes you a caring person, it doesn’t mean you agree with everything we say.

5. Check in on us! This is likely the most emotionally exhausting experience of our lifetime. Even if we are met with only love and support, we could still use more (we all can!). It takes a lot of energy to interact with everyone’s emotions in response to this truth about ourselves. It takes a lot of energy to stay present in our own emotions and processing. It takes a lot of energy for all of us to just live whole-hearted healthy lives. Let’s support each other while we do that.

And finally, for fun, I put together a playlist of all the girl-songs I’ve had crushes on throughout my life. It’s on Spotify–it’s public and collaborative so add your own!

I love you and I’m grateful for your love.

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