Monday, August 24, 2009

Tell 3 initiative: Coming out isn’t enough

When you first start to realize you are gay or bisexual, it can be a very exciting, confusing and scary time. You might think that the end of this process is when you come out and you live happily ever after with your girlfriend. But that’s just not true.

No don’t worry, chances are you and your girlfriend will indeed live happily ever after, or at least enjoy a few awesome years together. What I mean is, that coming out is not the end, but only the beginning.

Telling the people around us that we are into women is not enough. For people to really understand and accept us for who we are, we have to be visible and vocal about exactly who it is we are and what are lives are really like.

There now is this awesome initiative called Tell 3 that is promoting just that. The aim of the website is for everyone from the LGBT community, or even anyone who has loved ones who are LGBT, to pledge to tell 3 people in their lives what exactly it is like to be LGBT or to know someone who is. Because nothing makes people more accepting of others who are different than them than to have personal experiences and relationships with these people.

On their website, the wonderful people from the Tell 3 initiative, not only explain in more detail why this initiative is so important, but they also give great advice on how to tell others about yourself and also who to tell.

They even provide you with some materials you can use in your conversation with others, like helpful conversation starters as well as links to organisations. But my favourite link on their website is entitled “What’s your excuse?” where they address all the excuses we always use why we shouldn’t take part in a great initiative like this.

Things like, “But I’m already out”, “I’m not political”, “I don’t know enough about LGBT rights”, or “Having conversations like that is weird/cheesy/awkward/silly." Sounds familiar?

Even I as the entertainment editor of a lesBian website (which is pretty gay, right?) am not always as vocal about being a lesbian to everyone as I could be. Perhaps it is time to change that. Perhaps we should all try to change that. I am more than willing to take the Tell 3 pledge and talk about my life as a lesbian to three people in my environment who I normally do not talk to about this sort of stuff. Who is with me?

Tell us whether or not you are planning to take on this challenge. If so, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comments and also make sure to tell the lovely folks over at Tell 3 about it, so they can use your stories to make their initiative grow bigger and bigger.

This article was first published on eurOut.

No comments: