I Came Out to My Dentist Today

 

I came out to my dentist today. I was in for a procedure and like all good dentists, she made small talk and asked me, “Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?” In my head I thought, “YES! It’s Orlando Gay Pride and I’m so excited!” but then had a second thought, “Should I say that?”

I’ve been working in this movement for 7 years, I’ve been out since 19 and I still had the “Should I say that?” moment.

After hesitating for a half a second, I decided I should tell her about Come Out With Pride because Come Out With Pride is awesome and everyone should be excited about it.

I told her my big plans were to go to Orlando Pride and how excited I was because it is so fun. I told her that I work for Equality Florida, that we will be marching and I’ll likely have a bullhorn. She got really excited and started asking me a lot of questions about Equality Florida and the work we do. She didn’t know that up until a year ago LGBT people couldn’t adopt in Florida, or that you can be fired from your job. She was horrified and couldn’t believe such things were legal in 2011.

Coming out to my dentist served as a reminder to me how important it is to be visible and how many moments we have to educate on a daily basis. LGBT people don’t just come out once, we come out every day. You never know how someone is going to react to you, and that’s why, no matter how long we’ve been out, we hesitate. You have a moment of thinking “Do I really want to politicize this moment? Do I really need to talk to my dentist about LGBT stuff?”

But the answer to that is yes, because now my dentist is going to be better able to speak about LGBT issues and talk to her friends and family about the inequalities that still exist in our state, all because I was honest about my weekend plans.

When I left my dentist, Dr. Walker, told me she can’t wait until she sees an article about LGBT equality in the papers because she knows one of the people who is behind it. My hope is one day she does more than read about the struggle, that she volunteers or attends an event. Maybe she will. But for now, I’m just excited about Pride!

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