Coming out isn’t easy – This town is famous for fostering the kind of environment where other people’s perceptions of you can make or break your chances for success. If it’s success you’re after, or simply acceptance (or, maybe you just don’t care), it’s still never fun to be judged – to get “the look” from someone when they find out, or to hear a friend mocking someone like you in the street or on the television because they don’t know.
For a long time, I thought my only choice was to keep my “other life” a secret from everyone else – friends, co-workers, even lovers. It’s easier to leave certain things unspoken, lest they be brought to light over the natural course of life. I’ll deal with them then, I’ll say.
But then I found myself doing things and saying things, and even thinking things, that I soon realized weren’t representative of the kind of person I want to be – the person who I believe I am. I’ve never identifeed myself by anything other than my beliefs, but I do agree that what a person says or does can give others an incorrect perception. Lacking the ability to objectively view oneself, the first reaction is that you begin to believe yourself to be someone you’re not. You buy into the lie that you have to act a certain way in order identify with who you are. On that note, I find it particularly strange that even in a city of four million, I tend to meet the same kinds of people over and over again – hipsters, yuppies, industry-types, bohemians, burnouts, and the like.
Social stereotypes are like clothes and can be shed or swapped on a whim. It’s harder to change who you are inside. I know that’s last week’s news and I’ve heard it myself a million times, but when it becomes applicable to your own life it takes on a whole new meaning.
So while I haven’t been living a lie my whole life, I still haven’t exactly been forthcoming with certain truths. But what’s in the past is in the past, and once I start getting honest with myself and the rest of the world – which at the moment, for me is Los Angeles – I can get on with a future where I feel a whole lot better about being me.*
Here I go…
I’m a Christian.**
*which is probably a lot different than most people’s opinions or preconceptions about how i should act.