By Sydney Brouillard-Coyle
Our world has a beautiful diversity. Throughout creation, we can see God’s hand at play – in sunrise and sunset; in rivers, marshes, streams and oceans; and in the duck-billed platypus, which defies any attempt of a human-created “binary”. Every bird, fish, animal, and human has been lovingly created by the One who is more than we can ask or imagine.
Every year on October 11th, the world celebrates “National Coming Out Day”. This day is a celebration for those who are “out” and those who have just “come out” as queer and/or trans*. Coming out is a lifelong process as we explore our understandings of gender and sexuality. It starts with coming out to ourselves – recognizing who we are, who we’ve been created to be, and learning how we can authentically live as ourselves.
Over the years, I’ve gone by many different terms for my sexuality – lesbian, pansexual, demisexual, gay, and now the all-encompassing “queer”. For me, “queer” leaves space for the grey (or the rainbow) – those who are in the middle who don’t need to be specific about who it is that we are attracted to. Queer is an all-encompassing umbrella term that doesn’t require further explanation. I am proud to be queer.
As an openly non-binary person, I navigate daily challenges: assumptions about my gender based on my appearance, people using incorrect pronouns for me, and dealing with dysphoria around my public perception. This is something that many people in the trans* community continue to face, making moments like “National Coming Out Day” even more important. Having the public visibility of role models and being able to celebrate who we are is crucial – even life-saving. More importantly, having the language to describe how we feel helps to create a sense of community so that we know we aren’t alone.
For this National Coming Out Day, I urge you to celebrate with your queer and trans* friends and parishioners. Honour their journeys; hear their stories; lift up the voices of queer and trans* people within your community so that no one feels forced to stay in the closet.
National Coming Out Day is a time to celebrate all of the duck-billed platypuses of the world; the rainbow that comes after the rain; the sunrise and sunset; and the beautiful queer and trans* people who live in our congregations and our families.
Celebrate God’s hand through the diversity of our world – celebrate National Coming Out Day.
Sydney Brouillard-Coyle (ney/nem) is the Co-Chair of the Proud Anglicans of Huron.