Why Is “Coming Out” Such A Big Deal?

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS CONTENT ON LGBT SUICIDE. TAKE CAUTION IF THIS IS A TRIGGER FOR YOU.

Some people are finding the conversation of “coming out” tiresome and are asking the question “what is the big deal?” I think it’s fair to say that many of these people mean well. But the fact still remains that heterosexuality is still the assumed default orientation that people expect and homophobia still exists.

I heard on the ABC News24 about youth suicide in Australia. According to the woman being interviewed, two of the most vuilnerable groups in regard to suicide or attempted suicide are LGBTQI and Aboriginal youth. The figure that shocked me is that according to her, 41% of young people who identify as LGBT admitted that they had tried to take their own lives.

Now suicide is a tricky and often complex topic. However, it seems that LGBT are way over represented in suicide data. Are we as “tolerant” or “accepting” as we like to think we are? So there is no need to “come out” or is it that people just prefer it if people did keep their identity to themselves? Again, I’ll stress, I don’t think everyone is malicious when they say things like that, it’s just a point ot ponder.

It made me think of the time I came out as asexual to a cousin through a Facebook message. When I sent it, I was nervous (even though we do get along). Finally, when she replied to the message and she accepted it without any problems, I was so relieved, I cried hours later.

There is something about opening up about yourself when the risk of being rejected, ostracised or worse is real or seems real. There is a real discomfort, when your out with people and you know that you’re even different from them in a significant way, especially when the discussion comes around to relationships (I realised after one conversation back in 2010 that I was aromantic as well as asexual).

I did read a post from another fellow blogger about the issues asexuals, as well as members of the LGBT face, however, I was just wondering, does anyone know any statistics, data, articles, etc that talk about the extent of issues faced by asexuals? If anyone can post any information in the comments section, even about suicide among asexuals, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

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4 comments on “Why Is “Coming Out” Such A Big Deal?

  1. acetheist says:

    Well, there’s this paper on asexuality and the law, and there’s a list of academic papers here. The Huffington Post series on asexuality did a fair job with its article about anti-asexual prejudice (tw: rape and rape culture). Also, Queenie wrote a good post about challenges faced by ace survivors of sexual violence.

  2. eboniorchid says:

    I don’t know any stats myself. But I bet if you repost your question at AVEN, someone will have a good answer for you.

    ~D

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