Below is a piece I was commissioned to write for Amtrak’s Ride with Pride series.
The piece just went live and I think the timing is perfect…right before National Coming Out Day.
Coming out is more than making that one big announcement. It’s an everyday choice. Every time we meet a new person or find ourselves in a new situation, there’s a choice. This is a part of LGBT lives that straight people likely don’t even know exists. Sure, straight people reveal personal information every time they talk about themselves, but they probably don’t pause as often to weigh the cost of doing so. The speed bump at that interview when we consider if using the correct pronoun might cost us a job. A catch in the throat as we wonder if telling the truth might put us in danger. The nanosecond between synapse and tongue when a million variables are weighed and we find ourselves facing the question: to edit or not to edit. It’s a question that can loiter in the margins for the balance of an out life.
I was getting on an early morning, crowded Amtrak train from New York to D.C. for Pride Weekend. After walking through two cars in search of the perfect seat, I spotted an empty row. But as I came upon it, I discovered the window seat was taken by a tiny, older, conservative-looking woman with gray hair. She wore a navy polyester pantsuit, even in the heat of an oppressive June day. Blouse buttoned up as high as a blouse can be buttoned. Great. Well, I’m here, I thought. And I just want to sit. So I sat…(to continue reading, click here.)