Walking to my car yesterday morning, I noticed the HRC logo bumper sticker I had placed on the rear bumper of my car a few months ago. The day I put it on, I did so with a bit of fear and trepidation. I wondered if the car would be vandalized because of the sticker. I wondered if people would honk or give me the finger as a friend of mine had shared happened to him. But more than anything else this little bit of public display stirred up an old fear that I would be seen as less than everyone else.
Yesterday, the flight attendant on my flight to Denver had a number of pins on his apron. Among them was the same HRC logo. When he stopped by to pour my second cup of coffee, I told him that I liked his HRC pin. He simply said thank you, and moved on to pour the next cup of coffee. I thought it was fantastic how easily public he was.
One of the largest fears of coming out and being public about my sexuality was that I would be seen as less than other people with less rights than everybody else. I have enjoyed my privilege as a white, educated male. In coming out I did not want to be seen as less than by everybody else.
I know my coming out is not the story many people experience. But for me, I have been happily surprised how positive my coming out has been to family, friends and work. I have increasing courage and ease in being public about my life and my sexuality. For me, coming out has been an empowering, integrating, strengthening experience. My fear of being seen as less than did not materialize. The HRC logo on the bumper of my car is a reminder every day of the messages I send to the world and my intent to be proud about who I am and what I stand for in the world.