Closets Are For Clothes; I Am More Than My Clothes: I Am Coming Out!


Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day! According to Wikipedia

 National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as a gender identity or sexuality minority. The day is observed annually by members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies on October 11

Whether you are Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian, Gay, or even Atheist, coming out of the closet is always often a difficult experience for many. Most Logo_ncod_lgtimes, it is a decision that subjects us to a lifetime of discrimination, isolation, ostracism, and judgements not just from the society but unfortunately, also from those we care most about i.e. our family members and friends.

For me personally, all the isolation, judgemental remarks, ostracism, discrimination or jail terms in the world are not enough deterrents to keep me in the closet about my sexual orientation or non-belief.

The Freedom to be me, Freedom to love, Freedom to express my love and shout it from on top mountains, Freedom to assert my sexual and gender identity, Freedom to proclaim my non-belief in religious nonsense etc. are things I will not trade for the safety of the closets.

I cannot and must not let my Freedom to be me be curtailed by people who rejoice in wallowing in ignorance and hate.

Closets are for clothes; I am more than my clothes.

Closets are for objects; I am not an object.

Closets are for non-living things; I am a living thing.

Closets are prisons; I refuse to be a prisoner.

Closets are forced on many; I reserve the right to break free

I acknowledge that coming out of the closets is not an easy task for many of us, but remember, we have just this one life to live.

Do not waste it hiding in closets.

Live it with your heads high.

Step out of the closets and be proudly you.

Break free from the stale air of the closets and breathe in the air of freedom.

Reach out to the many support groups like Project Out that are available to help guide you out of the closets.

For all those still struggling to come out of the closets, I wish you the strength to break free from those walls, the support to stare your prisoners down and the joy of breathing the air of freedom.

Below is my poem I am Coming Out. I hope it encourages you to come out of the closets, spread your rainbow wings, and fly as high as you can, on your own terms!

I AM COMING OUT!

I am coming out, out of my shell

Long under the influence of your spells

Locked away in your antique culture cell

Where no one could hear me yell

I had screamed all in vain

Only I could feel the pain

It is time to break the chains

The ghosts of the past I must slay

Weighed down by societal shackles

Banging to be out, proud and sparkle

 

I am coming out, out of my shell

Doing away with your lying shields

It is unnatural, you scream

You will burn in hell, you preach

Fires and brimstones you rake

From your societal grip I break

In angry defence the truth I seek

To be free, to be me, I must speak

Coming out, head high, sets me free

I am proud, out and ready to peak

 

I am coming out, out of my shell

Proud to be out, I am ready to excel

Cultural lies and crumbs I was spooned

Like a caterpillar so long cocooned

I burst out as a beautiful butterfly wrings

Spreading my colorful rainbow wings

Shamed I might flounder and saunter

I will rise above slanders and be a flaunter

From the sidelines I am no longer peeping

Now I take center stage as I burst out singing

By © Yemisi Ilesanmi

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Comments

  1. says

    Took me years to come out of the atheist closet. I was well into my 30s before finding the nerve. And yup, I’ve a few folks try to “save” me. Most recently a friend of nearly 30 years who suddenly went from barely religious to a born again Christian about 8 or 9 years and has since morphed into an evangalistic creationist. Most odd considering she used to staunchly believe in evolution.

    I’ll always love her, but I’m having a really hard time maintaining a meaningful friendship with her. It feels like I’m talking to a completely uneducated person who, frankly…doesn’t seem that bright. I feel awful saying such a thing and she is intelligent, but it’s hidden deep under a religiour fervor that grows deeper with each passing day.

    Honestly, it’s made me even more hostile towards religion. It just sucks brain cells right out of good people!

  2. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @wordsgood -- Coming out as an atheist when we are surrounded by family members and friends that are highly religious, is indeed a daunting task. The start of the journey can be very rough as we see the pain and confusion in the eyes of our loved ones. Sad thing is, we also wish they would snap out of the religion delusion and embrace logic. And with that comes all sorts of estranged relationships. However, if we are lucky, there will be a fresh start for all parties to renegotiate and redefine the structure of this new relationship.

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