We don't always want to be known for the most vulnerable or emotional story of our lives. New York Times best-selling author of How to Be Black, Baratunde Thurston, once asked his live audience not to tweet or record his telling of a personal story at a public venue because he's "not interested in that story blowing up and getting lots of YouTube hits. I'm not interested in being KNOWN for it...the idea of people streaming and live-tweeting and uploading this personal, intimate tale felt like a violation."
Coming home from the bus stop this evening, I found myself behind two men whose conversation I encroached upon as my legs hurried to get out of the cold. It became apparent, as I caught the word "gay" and the statement, "I still remember coming out to my parents," that these men were sharing a moment of empathy and understanding as they spoke about their lived experience as gay men in America. "In a lot of ways it is like you come out to people a little bit every day," one of them stated. My heart stopped for a moment when I heard those words, the way it does when you hear the utmost of truths. I reflected on the power and weight of that reality, of the strength of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters to live their truths in their worlds each day. And then I realized I could relate, myself. "Isn’t that so true," I thought. Every time I share that I have had an abortion, it feels as though I’m "outing" myself.