Coming out? Gretchen Diez gives some advice
MANILA, Philippines – For every member of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer) community, there is always one ever-present topic in ice breakers: coming out.
When? Where? How? Who did you first come out to?
For many LGBTQ+ members who have done it, it’s a transformation from hiding to going out into the open, from a sense of guilt to pride. For others, it remains a burden given how acceptance is never certain, even by their loved ones.
Transgender woman Gretchen Diez weighed in on coming out, particularly on the pressure to do it as soon as possible.
“There should never be a standard of when a person should come out. Whenever you feel that you’re ready, then that’s the perfect time for them to come out. If they feel like there is no time for them to come out, then they can keep it to themselves, as long as they're comfortable about it,” Diez said in a Rappler Talk interview on Thursday, August 15.
Diez said that she had the privilege of growing up in a “loving and accepting family.” Her parents immediately accepted her when she told them that she had always felt she was a girl even when she was much younger.
She recognized that not everyone in the queer community can be as lucky, even in a country ranked as among the most gay-friendly nations in Asia.
“I grew up in a society where my gender is a big issue. For lack of a better term, being a transgender is a disgrace,” Diez said.
Ultimately, Diez said, it all boiled down to one's personal choice.
“Think of what will make you happy, what will make you feel better as a person, what will make you more successful. Is it me coming out or I’’m okay with me keeping my gender to myself? It's always your choice. You always have a choice,” she said.
For those who have come out to family and friends and want to be more public with his or her gender, Diez believed that consulting with these people would be the best. (EXPLAINER: What you need to know about SOGIE)
“Consult those people whom you can trust. If you can consult your family, if you trust your family more, then go with your family. If you feel that you trust your friends more, then go with your friends,” Diez said. – Rappler.com