October is national coming out month a time when advocates try to create a safe environment for closeted gay and lesbians to let the world know who they really are. Coming out is a mixture of coming to grips with who you are and defining cultural norms. While it is true that those norms are not as rigidly enforced as they once where, the recent rash of documented gay teen suicide in reaction to bullying shows that it is still enforced. When the action is made to come out it is in part an affirmation of who you are and taking ownership of that.
Gay or straight, out or closeted this is something we all need to do in our lives. We need to be able to accept who we are and live our lives as that person. When we deny, hide or misrepresent who we are we cannot love ourselves or be loved by others because the person the world sees is not real. We also cannot change ourselves without addressing our shortcomings in light of what we truly want.
We cannot live the life we want if we cannot be honest to ourselves. If we do not stand up and admit our dreams we will live other people's dreams. If we do not stand up and proclaim our passions we will not have passion in our lives. If we do not accept ourselves for the person we are we will spend our lives playing hide and seek but always being the one who hides. It takes courage to stand up to society and say, 'Hey I may not fit in the mold you have for me,' but the truth is none of us fit that mold.