Has your identity shifted? Do you want to… tell anyone about it?
Panelists answer a listener question on the value and meaning of coming out as queer (or as anything!).
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S2E45 | Coming Out as Queer
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Matthew Amador: You're letting people into a part of you. And if there is someone that you would like to let into that special part of you, rock on.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. Each week, I'll chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversation, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator Karen Yates.
This week, our panel gives advice about coming out as queer — or coming out about anything, and how to make it work for you. Keep listening. I've got an unbearably cute Wild & Sublime sticker on my water bottle, and it looks really good. Would you like one? simply subscribe to The Afterglow, our Patreon membership site, at the $10 a month or more level until the end of November. At any level, subscribers get great benefits like the ability to ask our monthly panelists questions, my audio creator notes, and now, discounts on all merchandise. Helping us create this podcast is more wonderfully beneficial than ever. The link is in the show notes. And for those who want to help out in a different way, there's always the tip jar. Thanks for your support.
Hey, folks. Why do I like today's episode? Because it is so beautifully simple on a complex topic. We have talked before about queerness on a great episode — Episode 11, with sex educator Sarah Sloane — and we are coming back to that topic today, because more and more people, given the expansiveness of that label, are identifying as queer. But is it important to actually tell other people about this shift in your life and your perspective? One of our Patreon listeners months ago put the question to our panelists. Today you'll be hearing from recurring guests Matthew Amador, psychotherapist for love, sex, and gender rebels; somatic psychotherapist Elmo Painter; and psychotherapist and intimacy coach Brandon Hunter-Haydon. Enjoy.
Let's start with you, Brandon. Here we go. A Patreon person writes: "I've been sitting more and more comfortably with the label of 'queer' for the past year. For me, this means I'm happy to flirt with guys — I'm a cis male — knowing maybe sex or a relationship might actually happen at some point. Also, putting more breathing room around gender, feeling a little more fluid. Do I need to, quote unquote, come out as queer? I know what y'all will say — 'Nope, you don't have to' — but I wonder: is it important to tell people who I am?? Queer can be a kind of ambiguous term. Signed, Pondering."
Matthew Amador: That's fantastic. I think what I would say to that is, there wasn't one strand of advice to follow on the question of coming out, because it is a very personal journey. And it's also not monolithic. So coming out can look like a number of things, including to yourself. And it sounds like this person is already well on their way, with being able to self-validate their own experience, which is a fantastic start. Coming out can occur across different social environments, professional environments, intimate partnerships — you name it. And I think what I would offer back is just the questions of: Who do you think is ready to see you? And in what relationships or in what dynamics do you feel the most safe and the most held, in such a way that you can start to expand who you are in front of those folks, where you feel like that would be able to be seen or valid? Even if, you know, there are people who might not understand your exact terms, or might not be familiar even with certain kind of cultural lingo, but they have their connection to you, or they have a kind of openmindedness, or a sense of their own possibility, or an appreciation for variance in the world, that they'll really cherish the vulnerability that you share in doing so. So just think about who feels safe, and who you really want to be seen by. That's where I would start.
Karen Yates: Mmm. Matthew or Elmo, jump in.
Elmo Painter: I mean, I don't think I have anything to add to that. That was gorgeous. It is about who you want to share yourself with. And, you know, I think we all come out in different ways. People come out to their parents as artists, when their parents wanted them to be something else. You know, people come out as somebody who loves a certain type of music. I mean, it's like, we come out in all these different ways, in all these intimate ways, and sometimes people come out to their own partners as, you know, having different needs or wants. We are kind of continually coming out to ourselves and each other. And, yeah, we're all continually evolving. It is just about like, who's earned the right to hear your story?
Karen Yates: Matthew?
Matthew Amador: Yeah, I love that. I love that. To some extent, a lot of us are coming out every day. Like, we come out when we meet new people, and exactly what I'm always speaking on — sometimes it's about identity, in all its shapes and forms. It can be about sexuality, it can be about gender identity, it can be about passion. It can be, 'I'm an artist,' it could be 'I like manga.' One thing that I would actually lean towards is, yes — because there is a sense, especially if you are navigating different identities, but that's not my first choice. That's not my second draft of the word. My first draft is 'navigating identities'; I'm gonna say, if you navigate different spaces. If you navigate through different spaces, there can be a real concern of erasure, that maybe all of you isn't being seen. And yeah, queer can be a very, very broad term that can mean so many things. And so I definitely feel you, that you may want to be seen. One thing I would suggest is while yes, you can come out to people, I would also think of it as letting people in. You're letting people into a part of you. And if there's someone that you would like to let in to that special part of you, rock on.
Karen Yates: Yeah, I love — gosh, I just love what everyone had to say. I'm thinking just about how vulnerable can we show up every day to ourselves? I mean, that's kind of like the bottom line — you know, this theme of, you're coming out every day, or you're coming out in any new situation, by how much you're going to reveal. And also listening to yourself. You know, I think, as we reveal ourselves to others — especially about something about maybe sexual identity or gender identity — it's like there's a listening to self that has to, the presence with self that has to occur. I'm engaging. I'm present with myself, and how am I present with myself, in this moment in this group of people, or this new person? You know, what's going on for me?
For more information on Matthew, Elmo and Brandon, go to our show notes. Wild & Sublime is supported in part by our Sublime Supporter, Full Color Life Therapy. Therapy for all of you at fullcolorlifetherapy.com. And if you'd like to work with me to help get unstuck and add more ease to your life, consider a biofield tuning session. Biofield tuning gently restores energetic flow and shifts emotional patterning in the body, bringing greater awareness of yourself and the choices you can make. And it can be done remotely. Go to karen-yates.com or the show notes to learn more about individual or group sessions.
Well, that's it folks. Have a very pleasurable week. Next week, sex work: an overview. I chat with two therapists who work at the intersection of awareness, legislation, and sex worker support. Don't miss it. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
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- Matthew Amador – Psychotherapist for love, sex, & gender rebels
- Elmo Painter – Somatic psychotherapist
- Brandon Hunter-Haydon – Psychotherapist and intimacy coach
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