Thank you all for your numerous kind, supportive, loving and gracious responses to my post yesterday. I wanted to clarify just a couple of things that were brought up.
1, I’ve been “out” to my family, friends and community I live in for years. The strange thing about the gayness of life, as I like to call it, is that for those of us that realized it later in life i.e. after high school, it means that while you may be out now – the community you grew up in might not know. This is probably true for me and in some ways this was easier for the more conservative members of my family. They didn’t have to deal with questions, could just leave it out of conversations and so forth. Which leads us to:
2, I pass. As in, you can’t see that I’m gay by just looking at me and so in my professional and public face on the internet, most people don’t know. Being southern, I’m not so good at making folks feel uncomfortable and so for the most part I chose, up until yesterday, to just leave my sexuality out of my work life. Circumnavigate the awkward moment of, Hi, I’m Sarahbeth, women’s apparel designer, environmentalist, and gay. As I said in one of my responses yesterday, this means that I have the unique experience of being able to walk around without ridicule while still being a discriminated against minority. It comes with the price of a lot of other bs when I speak up. That’s why I addressed my post the way I did yesterday. I’m assuming folks who may have known me when I was younger, or folks who only know me via my online community and work probably didn’t/ don’t know.
3. Why it’s important: There are so many wonderful things about me and the queer friends I have in my life. It’s a luxury that I get to know people through my work and life for who I am and not because of one insignificant detail but the truth remains that some folks have a problem with it. I believe that it will take a large part, if not all, of the LGBTQ community to stand up and be counted out of the closet in every facet of our lives in order to create effective change. I am who I was 2 days ago to folks who did not know me as gay. It doesn’t change who I am, my values, my talent or what I create. Why should it affect what you think of me or how you relate to me, and if it does, What’s your reasoning? Let’s talk about it. Let’s dive in and do the work. There’s a place set for you at my table. Will you meet me there?
Clearly you’ve tuckered us all out and there’s nothing left to say.