I’ve shared a lot about how coming out is a joyful journey, one that has been in the works for me for ten years now.

Truthfully, the beginning was not joyful. There were moments of beauty but they were wrapped in a painful pair of years. If someone had told me when I was 20, “Hey, I know it’s hard, but you’ve got a lot of joy coming your way. It really does get better,” I don’t think I would have appreciated it. I think I would have thought that advice was insensitive, and not even truly was advice. Rather, it would feel like trite clichés with no awareness of what was really going on. 

It’s happened to me too, when you’ve been out of the closet and start to forget how dark it was in there. You feel liberated by the freedom of unapologetically being yourself. You want to tell everyone, “Hey! It’s so nice over here! C’mon!”

It can never be that simple. Or that uncomplicated. Or that irreverent. 

Coming out is complicated, often wrapped in emotions, twisted into theology, and guarded in shame.

So it feels reckless to shout HEY I’M HAPPY NOW THAT I’M OUT, JOIN ME without saying this:

Your journey is yours alone. No one can (or should) tell you when to share your truth or share it for you.

Coming out is often harder than it should be. It may take years to see relationships rebuilt, trust regained, and hope reinstated.

But when you’ve found your people, the ones who love you without question or parameters, that is when you find the joy.

Coming out takes years and is not one moment or one conversation.

So no matter where you are in your journey, if you’ve come out, if you wish you could, if you love someone who has, I invite you to pay attention to everything that’s happening around you. The confusing, the disheartening, the encouraging. All of it may just lead you on your own joyful journey, too. 

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