A Hip Hop Coming Out Tale

gayhiphop2I hate the big coming out speech.  What am I going to say again? “ah… so remember all of those times that we talked about girls? Yeah… I was kinda playing the pronoun game. I’m really into guys.” <awkward silence>

Coming out of the closet, for me, ins’t about making some huge announcement on Facebook or telling everyone that I know in some melodramatic, intimate setting. No coming out party for me any time soon to celebrate my induction into the society of gay bois.

“So long gay bois”

(No judgements passed for those who have had or want a shiny shindig…)

Jeopardy should put this one on their gameshow board: The process of self-acceptance, confidence-building and inclusivity while challenging our culturally inherited worldviews and paradigms.

I’ll hit the buzzer on my podium and yell “What is coming out!?”

For me, the process of coming out is the process of SELF-acceptance which is an inner process that the public doesn’t really need to be a part of.

Coming out is… some Tweet-type self-love that hits you like a ton of bricks.

Coming out is… Ghandi telling us:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” -Ghandi

Coming out is… Common showing us how to be unafraid to love holistically

Coming out is… Immortal Techniques warning of the dangers of living with delusions, fear, self-deception, inaccurate thoughts and illusions of separation from the world and self; the product of growing up without strong role models of how to be a honorable man or woman.

Coming out is… the TLC poetically testifying to steer clear of the perils of easy living.

Coming out is… the culmination of the journey Lauryn Hill sang about in Everything is Everything.

Coming out is… Whitney Houston showing us how to look within for the greatest love of all.

Jay-z speaks up in support of gay marriage
Jay-z speaks up in support of gay marriage

Coming out is… Jay-z standing up in support of gay marriage as published in by US Weekly. See the full article Jay-z: Why I Support Gay Marriage by Zach Johnson.

Coming out is… Macklemore and Ryan Lewis explaining Same Love through music.

Brandon Ayanbadejo, Ravens football who publicly endorsed gay marriage.
Brandon Ayanbadejo, Ravens football who publicly endorsed gay marriage.

Coming out is… the representatives of hyper masculinity like football player Brandon Ayanbadejo publicly supporting a struggle that he doesn’t personally hold a stake in.

Coming out is… Martin Luther King Jr. recounting what he saw on the mountaintop.

Coming out is so much more than making some dramatic announcement in the same way that Gay Pride is more than an annual parade in which gay men ride around on floats in speedos and Kylie Minogue impersonators compete for trophies.

Werk!

One of closeted men’s biggest inhibitions when considering the possibility of living in truth is the idea that someone else defines what it means to be gay. “Werk!” does not automatically download into your vocabulary. “Gay Lifestyle” is a myth and you don’t have to join the cult if its not for you.

Coming out and gay pride is more than clubs, sex and rainbow flags. Coming out is about confidence, love and being real. Its learning how to embrace your feelings and express them freely.

I love you bro!

This important process is often reduced to its most base level of freedom to express ones sexuality but it is so much more than this or even political power. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, whether you are comfortable announcing your personal realization from the mountain tops or if you are the quiet, unassuming person who simply goes about their business, end of story.

It is a personal process and like anything that is personal, people should ignore social pressures to come out in a particular fashion. Do what ever feels right to you. And most importantly, do it for YOU.

Even though I’ve discovered that coming out is a personal process, there is a certain level of honesty that I need to maintain to be at peace with myself and this means that eventual discussion about my sexuality is inevitable. Be prepared for a long talk if you’re on of the “unclockable” types that no one would ever suspect.

I discuss my sexuality when it seems appropriate, like when a girl hits on me. I’ll compassionately inform her that it’s more probable that I’ll be her competition than a prospect. But when my gym buddies check out girls I don’t hesitate to chim in. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating the miracle of spandex on a nice pair of glutes.  But if someone asks me a direct question about whether I have a girlfriend then 9 times out of 10  I’ll correct them (a long drawn out, “What!? You’re lying!” conversation isn’t necessary when a friend is crying about how their girlfriend left them… in cases like these I’ll gloss over the truth until an apropos time).

Nene going hard…

No one can dictate the proper way to come out. That’s a personal choice. However, if you are looking for suggestions, there are many resources online that can offer help. See The Pride Network for more details.