Welcome to “Ask Ada,” a weekly series in which we answer all those burning questions you’d rather not share aloud. Buckle up for some brutally honest advice! Today we will discuss a very sensitive subject: sexuality.
To those of you who are considering coming out during the next few weeks, I have only one thing to say:
I love y’all, and I’m so proud of you.
To those of you who are not there yet, I have another thing to say:
I love y’all so much, I believe you, and it’s not your fault that you’re not safe where you are.
To those of you on the fence, who are not as worried about physical safety, but are still worried about your loved ones’ reactions, I have a third thing to say:
Focus on building a boring life.
Look, I get it. Coming out is scary and frustrating. It doesn’t help that most of the advice out there focuses on reading lists and safety plans. All the information that you’ve probably read kinda makes it look like you are either about to become a punching bag or someone’s Queer 101 tutor.
That’s not to say that this advice isn’t important. It addresses some depressingly common things in your life, but it doesn’t prepare you for the in-between stuff. The casual rejection, the refusal to engage, the continuous misunderstanding. All of these subtle reactions hurt, and the worst part is that you don’t necessarily get a clean resolution.
It’s always painful when someone prefers the version of you that they have built up in their head to the one that is actually standing in front of them.
As someone who came out as asexual and was promptly shoved back in the closet, I can honestly say that having a vision and future plans made the biggest difference to me. Planning to own my own home, earn my own income, and secure my own independent life without debt kept me from sinking into despair. I haven’t achieved all of my goals yet, but every time I feel down, I remember the wonderful steps I’m working towards. I’m building a life in which people’s microaggressions don’t matter.
They say that boredom is dangerous, but for many people, boredom is a good problem to have. Boredom means that you can roll your eyes and hang up the phone. Boredom means that you can cut a visit short when someone tries to hoist their bad feelings on you. Boredom means that you can put boundaries on your time and energy and give yourself permission not to try again until the other person has learned to behave themselves better.
If you’re thinking of coming out soon, build a boring life. Coming out, (and all the excitement involved), will happen in its own good time.
(Please note: We are not a crisis hotline. If you need crisis response, Google is your best friend right now).