I have a more updated post in draft mode now, but this, is worth a watch. Tears were shed….
My selected favorites:
“I think we all have closets, your closet may be telling someone you love her for the first time. Or telling someone you’re pregnant. Or telling someone you have cancer. Or any of the other hard conversations we have throughout our lives. All the closet is, is a hard conversation. And although our topics may vary tremendously, the experience of being in and coming out of the closet is universal. It is scary, and we hate it, and it needs to be done.”
“So really, my closet is no different than yours, or yours, or yours. Sure, I can give you 100 reasons why coming out of my closet was harder than coming out of yours, but here’s the thing, hard is not relative, hard is hard. Who can tell me that explaining to someone that you’ve just declared bankrupcy is harder than telling someone you cheated on them? Who can tell me that his coming out story is harder than telling your 5-year old you’re getting a divorce? There is no “harder”, there is just “hard.” We need to stop ranking our “hard” against everybody else’s “hard” to make us feel better or worse about our closet and just commiserate on the fact that we all have “hard.”
At some point in our lives, we all live in closets, and they may feel safe. Or at least, safer than what lies on the other side of that door. But I’m here to tell you, no matter what your walls are made of, a closet is no place for a person to live. So why is coming out of any closet, why is having that conversation, why is it so hard? Because they’re stressful. We’re so concerned about the reaction of the other person, and understandably. Will they be angry? Sad? Disappointed? Will we lose a friend? A parent? A lover? These conversations cause stress. So let’s kick out on stress for a minute.
Stress is a natural reaction in your body. When you encounter a perceived threat, your hypothalamus sounds the alarm, and adrenaline and cortisol start coursing through your veins. This is known as Fight or Flight. Sometimes you rumble, sometimes you run. And this is a totally normal reaction. And, comes from a time when that threat was being chased by a wooly mammoth. The problem is your hypothalamus has no idea if you’re being chased by a wooly mammoth, or if your computer just crashed, or if your in-laws just showed up on your doorsteps, or if you’re about to jump out of a plane, or if you need to tell someone you love that you have a brain tumor. The difference is the wooly mammoth chases you for what, maybe 10 minutes. Not having those hard conversations, that can go on for years, and your body just can’t handle that. Chronic exposure to adrenaline and cortisol disrupts almost every system in your body and can lead to anxiety, depression, heart disease, just to name a few.”
“So the next time you find yourself in a pitchblack closet clutching your grenade, know that we’ve all been there before. And you may feel so very alone, but you are not. And we know it’s hard, but we need you out here, no matter what your walls are made of. Because I guarantee you there are others peering through the keyhole of their closet looking for the next brave soul to bust a door open so BE that person, and show the world that we are bigger than our closets, and that a closet is no place for a person to truly live in.”