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  • Cynthia Fortlage

National Coming Out Day


Sunday, October 11, 2020, is international Coming Out Day, a day of celebrating self-declaration for those that were ready to be authentic. Many cannot, and we still recognize that they are on a journey as their situation doesn’t allow them to come out for many reasons.

Here are a couple of articles I posted that relate to this topic;

How Coming Out is an Act of Acceptance!

https://www.cynthiafortlage.com/post/how-coming-out-is-an-act-of-acceptance

The Hidden Queer in All of Us

https://www.cynthiafortlage.com/post/the-hidden-queer-in-all-of-us


My Coming Out Story:

In preparation for this article, I researched all the past writings I have done and the parts of the book I am writing to see what I said; it seems I have been very vague of my coming out story.

I will continue to be vague as I will detail it in the book; if your register for this site through the link below, I will be sharing previews of chapters with registered members.

Suffice it to say that my journey coming out was slow and stealthy, so much I didn’t even know I was coming out.

About five years ago (2015), my spouse threatened to out me right after she found out; everything began moving at a rocket ship pace. I was trying to maintain control of being threatened by being outed. In this process, someone else shares your coming out story, and I had to out myself even before I knew what I was outing myself about. I thought I was outing myself as a crossdresser to find once in therapy that I am transgender.

The threat of being outed is traumatic and was a cataclysmic life event at that moment; everything I knew began to change.

In 72 hrs, I outed myself to my parents, who had divorced by then, so I had to tell them and their new partners. To each of my sisters and their families. To the extended family and very close business associates. By 72 hours after being threatened with being outed, I had told HR at work, and the following day, I had to share that with the owner and senior leadership.

There was no significant base that wasn’t covered, so I felt that I was in control of the story, and the threats became weak and malicious but without effect on me. That part of the story is correct but telling myself I was in control was a lie.

Relationships began failing quickly, and while they were not immediately cut off, the supports I thought I had started shrinking.

If it weren’t for the network of friends that developed quickly, there wouldn’t have been much in the way of support when the bottom began falling out completely.

In the end, I lost the relationships with my birth family, only to have an extended hand reached out by each parent in the final portion of their lives. Both passed away during this time in my life.

I still have no connection even distanced with my youngest sister, my eldest sister checks in occasionally.

As eluded to previously, my marriage went through about 18 months of tough time after I was outed, as we tried working on making the marriage work somehow. For most of that time, I had already moved out as I could not dress and be myself in my home for 28 years. By the time 32 years had come about, we were in the process of finalizing our divorce.

While it was super tricky for my adult children in the first year or so to see their parents break up and their dad transition, I am happy to say that we have worked our way back to have what I would call good relationships now. However, distant as I travel, we communicate regularly and video chat often.

My career came to an end, but that’s a story I can’t tell.

Everything I knew began to fall away.

In the end, four years later, I left the city I came out in because my past haunted me and to be free of the old me, I had to find a way just to be me. I don’t know if that’s permanent, but that’s where my coming out story leads me today, so now you know why celebrating national coming out day is so important to accept the journey we are on.

Cheers, Love N Hugs,

Cynthia

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