Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Gay Transgender Man’s Thoughts on National Coming Out Day 2014

WARNING:  The links contained within this post will take you to sites with content for mature readers only.  However, this post is suitable for a PG audience.

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Today marks the 26th year anniversary of National Coming Out Day. The event began 26 years ago, founded by the Human Rights Campaign, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The day is celebrated as an opportunity to honor all those who have come out, or support equality, either as members of the LGBTQ community or as straight allies.
HRC’s theme is Live Your Truth. As a gay transgender man, I have known my truth since the age of five, but have not always had the opportunity to openly live it. In sharing my thoughts as someone who has lived on both sides of the closet, I hope to not only inspire, but to give comfort to others searching for their own answers.
For over two decades, my partner and I lived in fear. We both had circumstances where coming out was impossible. The fact we lived in a conservative part of the South contributed to our decision to remain in the closet. In addition, we had a young family which have always come first. John and I love our son and daughter dearly. They are our biological children, conceived through artificial insemination, and I gave birth to them by C-section.
On September 27, 2013, John and I came out together. I made the announcement we were both gay, and I was a transgender man.  Our decision to openly live our truth occurred two days before my fortieth birthday.  As that milestone approached, so did my fear of living the second half of my life in hiding.  When I remember my feelings during that time, I always return to the words of Kurt Cobain:  “I would rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
Love and hate are two emotions we have encountered from others since coming out.  The positive outpouring of support from family, friends, and my readers has been heartwarming.  John and I appreciate all the kind words and messages we have received. Still yet, there have been those who have chosen to share negativity with us.   Such opinions are the product(s) of fear; a lack of understanding of LGBTQ topics; learned behaviors and ideas; and old-fashioned hatred. As an activist, one of the ways I try to promote change is to raise awareness of the fact that LGBTQ individuals are human beings. Life is a journey. All of us are transitioning to something. 
At the end of the day, how have I decided to live my truth?  Always be proud of who you are. The words of others do not define you.  No one needs another person’s permission to live the life they desire. None of us have the right to define anyone except ourselves.  We are our own truth.  
To read my original coming out story visit:  Coming Out as a Gay Transgender Man.  Also, to learn about the changes in the lives of John and I one year later read:  Coming Out Once Year Later as a Gay Transgender Man.
I enjoy hearing from all of my readers, and look forward to your e-mails.  Remember Love is Love…Period.
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Andrew Jericho is a ManLove erotic romance author for Siren-BookStrand Publishing  and LGBTQ rights activist.  All of his work can be found at:  Andrew Jericho.  For questions or comments please e-mail him at:

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