Coming out of the closet...
Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:21AM
Ginger Holczer

I was inspired this morning by a poignant TedTalk. The speaker was a lesbian woman who was asked repeatedly by young children whether she was a "boy" or a "girl." Her message in the video was that we all have closets, despite our sexual orientation--and there are hard conversations that we have to have with the people around us. 

Every one of us has a story, and maybe not every part of our story needs to be shared with everyone. Throughout life, there are those dark moments in the closet, when we need to tell someone something really difficult. What keeps us curled up on our closet floor--alone and afraid? It might be any number of conversations--ending a relationship, serious illness, sexual orientation--things that we know we have to confront, but the closet seems so much better than the outside, where we might hurt someone, disappoint, or make them angry.

Ash Beckham, the speaker in the video, likened this to holding a grenade--it has to be thrown or it is going to explode. When we don't throw the grenade, we are not true to our narrative--and we affect the narrative of others. What do I mean by that?  If we aren't coming out of the closet, we are giving others false hope, leading people on--but most importantly, not being authentic. If we want the people in out life to be authentic to us, we have to act in kind.

Is there a grenade that you have to throw? Is there a closet that is keeping you confined and alone? Coming out of the closet is never easy...

See the video here.

Article originally appeared on Ginger Holczer, PsyD (
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