Mixed Feelings on Coming Out

by Meg Mottola

Thinking back on my coming out journey, I’m often overcome with many mixed feelings. Growing up in a heteronormative society comes with many privileges for those who do not identify as LGBTQ+ and this often goes unnoticed and misunderstood. Those who are straight don’t recognize the privilege they hold and how marginalized groups do not have the same luxury. However, while I understand I don’t have that same privilege, I do have power in my story. As a white female with a socially acceptable body, I recognize where my privileges lie, and it’s important I voice that. However, when it comes to my sexuality, I have not had the same privileges as my fellow peers who do not identify as a member in the LGBTQ+ community.

It is a privilege to not have to question your sexuality. 
It is a privilege to not have to brainstorm ideas about how you will come out.
It is a privilege to not have to think about where you will go in case you get kicked out of your household.
It is a privilege to not have to worry about if you’ll be allowed to get married.
It is a privilege to not have to be concerned about if your basic rights will be taken away.

But, there something to be said about how empowering the coming out journey can be.

It is empowering to stand in the face of hate still stay true to yourself.
It is empowering to stand with your fellow LGBTQ+ members and fight for your rights.
It is empowering to love who you love and do it wholeheartedly.
It is empowering to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.
It is empowering to set an example for LGBTQ+ youth.
It is empowering to finally be who you are.

Where privilege lacks, empowerment lies and if there’s anything I’ve learned throughout the years, it’s that empowerment speaks volumes. Coming out has given me the opportunity to stand alongside so many others in the community and advocate. I’ve had the chance to get to know so many and come together to fight for what we believe in. Again, since coming out, I recognize where my personal privileges lie and where they lack. I know that as a white female it’s a lot easier for others to listen to me in times of advocacy and that my own journey is not comparable to someone who is a minority within this community. So let us recognize our privilege and let us use that privilege for good so we can empower each other.

Love and light,

About the Author:

Meg Mottola is an east coaster but a traveler at heart. Aside from her work with Matthew’s Place, she is an advocate for mental health awareness. She is in recovery from a 10+ year battle with Anorexia. In addition to writing, Meg enjoys running, traveling, jamming on the guitar, and photography. She believes the key to joy in life is to surround yourself with positivity, express gratitude, and always choose love. You can follow her Instagram, @megmott!