On Coming Out and Living Authentically
Updated: May 27
Sex workers and civvies alike ask me how I am so 'out' in all areas of my life. Usually it's accompanied by surprise, curiosity, and at times a hint of envy - if a sex worker is asking it's often followed up with a request for advice. And the truth is I don't have any advice because often the real question is 'how do you come out and not meet consequences?' and unfortunately that isn't possible. I make the decision to come out and face potential consequences. Not everybody wants (or has the privilege) to live this way and as such I don't believe there is any one size fits all guidebook for coming out. I do believe there are ways to cultivate enough self love, compassion, and inner strength that loosing people, while painful, becomes more tolerable than hiding in the shadows.
I'm a queer poly neurodivergent sex worker. I come out, a lot, because taking up space in ways that feel authentic to my soul is what most aligns with my values. Even if coming out means I may face severed interpersonal connections, losses of professional opportunities, or shifts in safety. I've been told I am most comfortable in the dark feminine while I don't yet have much knowledge on the topic from what I've gathered it means I have the capacity to see people to their core and understand their 'dark' side, I prefer to embrace qualities that others have rejected or tried to shame, I speak the truth and can't stand hypocrisy, and my presence triggers people's insecurities. Based on my birth chart much of my lifetime is meant to be spent embracing my desire for freedom, the unconventional, and my love of solitude alongside the hefty job of ‘opening people’s eyes to what they can’t yet see’ (my astrologers words – not my own). All this is to say I'm writing this piece from the perspective of someone who is meant to live in a certain manner.
I'm living in a way that feels good to me. You're either coming along and walking in the light with me or you're getting out of my way. I'd rather lose you than lose myself.
Long before I could read or speak with any sort of tangible fluency, I roamed around pointing out the things most folks tried to keep quiet. By the time I was around 6 years old I’d look at the adults in my life and tell them they were acting ‘like kindergarteners’ when they weren’t showing up in mature and safe ways. When I was an adolescent, I would sit even less lady like when told to ‘sit like a lady’ and when my older brother asked me to cover up as we walked by a group of construction workers in our home country I stood in front of them, lifted my shirt, flashed them as I giggled, my brother tried to cover me as I continued to laugh. I put my shirt down looked him straight in the eye and said ‘keep telling me what to do and I’m only going to get worse, I don’t shrink for anyone.’ At a certain moment in time the people closest to me all seemed to accept that I am going to do whatever I am set out to do.
I attribute this aspect of my personality to:
1. The stars and my birth chart (it's all written there y'all).
2. A hefty amount of trauma very early on in life. Being liked becomes significantly less important when you’ve had multiple life threatening experiences by the time you hit adolescence.
3. My mother who often praised my ability to speak up, even when it did not ‘benefit' her in the moment.
4. American society writing very few scripts for me and people like me – there was no clear path to follow and as such I had the freedom of creating my own. While scary at times it has, overall, been liberating.
I also realized that as I build relationships I could elect not to share certain parts of myself. I could compartmentalize and keep various aspects of my inner world and life less integrated, but for what? To hide aspects of myself in order to receive the relationships, care, and safety I (and everyone) deserve? I don’t want to receive that if it's predicated on any amount of dishonesty. Often, I rip off the bandaid with friends and community, and if it is relevant in my civvie career as well. When I’ve lost people, been rejected, told I’m ‘too complex’ to be in relationship with I feel grateful for the honesty people offer. It helps clear space on my path to continue meeting folks who are more aligned with me. On the rare occasion someone I respect/admire/love is the source of rejection I do experience pain, sadness, and longing. Even with a powerhouse of a personality I still have moments of fragility and sensitivity. I want to be held with care. I am also aware that not everybody has the capacity or desire to do so. When I was younger I would take that personally, now I accept that I am not for everybody (and vice versa). I believe there is love and community everywhere we look...when we know where to look.
The more tightly we hold on to people who do not accept us the more energy we are directing in the ‘wrong’ places. My ability to unapologetically walk in the light attracts people who desire to live similarly and seems to repel those who don’t desire it (or perhaps aren’t quite ready). The way I live my life brings me exactly what I need and that’s a beautiful thing. I am surrounded by love, care, and support. Friends, chosen family, blood family, colleagues. I am not sure I would have built this life and become a part of these communities had I focused on maintaining connections that were not supportive of all of me. On the off chance that I only have this singular lifetime I want to live it in fully embodied truth and wisdom. I’d rather lose relationships with others than the one I have with myself. It is a tough pill to swallow, but letting go is necessary to shed, evolve, and create space for the new.