Mind Candy

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The lighter side of coming out of the closet

Posted by mandyf on May 30, 2012

It makes little difference whether you are coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or whatever you are and have been while in the closet, it can be a really stressful process. Sometimes it is even a traumatic experience. Now and then though, coming out takes a turn towards the funnier side of the road.

There was a comedian who built his career around his own true life coming out story which didn’t quite go as planned. After plotting each move and biding his time, he sat down to dinner with his entire family on a visit home. He calmly turned to his mother and asked “Would you pass the mashed potato’s to a homosexual?” His mother picked up the bowl and passed them to his father! Now that is funny! Of course she did really know what he was doing, but also knew it could be a potentially tense moment and used well timed subtle humor to keep thing light.

Nobody ever said that coming out has to be a torturous thing to do. It should be a celebration filled with hugs, positive affirmations, and a little laughter sure doesn’t hurt a thing either. A series of snarky one-liners isn’t likely to be too popular, but a tasteful jab or two certainly isn’t out of line. A further example of when coming out crosses to the later side can be seen in the coming out of a transsexual person whom related the following story.

“When telling my family I was transsexual, everyone seemed to be in a state of shock. My parents nearly had their jaws on the floor. My brothers and sisters looked deeply concerned. My grandmother however seemed confused. She looked at me and said “terrestrial?’ I replied something along the lines of ‘no transsexual.’ Being old and having a hearing problem she shook her head again and said “Extra terrestrial? Do you think you’re like E.T. baby?’ Once again I said “No grammy, transsexual. Not extra transsexual, not an E.T., just a regular old transsexual.’ When that finally set in and her eyes got wide all she could say was “Oh crap, someone call Father Dominic.”

The remainder of that story didn’t go as well, but for a few brief moments it broke the tension and gave some of that persons family and opportunity to collect their thoughts and see this really wasn’t as big a deal as they made it out to be upon first hearing. After all, their brother was just a transsexual, not an extra terrestrial or even extra transsexual. She was just a regular old dime a dozen transsexual.

The lighter side doesn’t always have to be generated from the person that is being come out to, sometimes the person coming out can use humor to help keep everyone at ease. How a person does that depends completely on their individual personality and sense of humor. In one case a transsexual person that was planning to begin their male to female transition sent their mother a balloon bouquet which read “It’s a girl!” with a little note attached to call him. People have come out using those singers for hire that show up and deliver funny little songs. In one case a person even invited everyone to what they assumed was a regular party, but instead arrived to find it was a baby shower themed event as the person said “I am gay, I am out, today is my re-birth!”

The point of it all is that coming out isn’t always bad or hard. It can be fun. It is supposed to be a day in which you start living the life you were meant to, and that is a good thing! If making it a party, tossing some jokes out, or whatever works makes it better than so be it. If someone comes out to you and you are supportive of them and can see there is a lot of tension in their faces or the room should several people be there, make a tasteful joke to loosen everyone up. Coming out is an great thing, but when it takes a turn for the lighter side it is an awesome thing!

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