In honor of National Coming Out Day, I am stepping out of the closet and telling you that… MAN, my closet is so cluttered! Why on earth am I holding on to this pantsuit from 1999? I have actually held on to it long enough for the color aubergine to come back into fashion. Too bad my thighs haven’t gone back to the size they were during the gem tone era. I can’t believe I’ve become one of those people who keeps storing clothes in my closet for the day that I will one day be the same size and shape – which will be never!
Aw, look at these cute striped corduroy trousers I bought in Spain! I realize now that not only will I never be able to fit into clothes that were made for a pre-pregnant me, but I also realize that I should never aspire to sport clothes that were made for a 30-year-old, childless me. Fashion don’t. Ever.
I definitely need to get out of this closet, and I need to take half of this wardrobe out with me…and fill it with mom jeans and sweater sets from Target. Time to fit in in suburbia cause I don’t fit in anything nice to wear.
Aside from coming out of the out-of-date, out-of-style closet I’ve managed to fill with impossible hopes of recreating my youth, I don’t come out in the gay way very often anymore. Our boys are in the same school and the same after school activities. Teachers, classmates, all know that our boys have two moms. It’s not a thing. But, every few months, I do come out to a classroom of college students.
I have a friend who teaches Intro to Child Development at Montclair State University here in New Jersey. She invites me to speak to her class about artificial reproductive technology. Every semester, I come out to a room of young strangers and tell the story about how Gabriella and I created our family. I’m never nervous about what they’re thinking or how they’ll react. I never worry about the questions they may ask, and there have been some doozies. But I do think about what I’m going to wear. What does a 40-something-year-old gay mom wear to represent all the gays? I know. When you’re over 40, it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing to a 20-year-old.
I shouldn’t give it a second thought, but I do. I’m sensitive about clothes because I’ve never been good at dressing myself. I mean, I know that my arms go through sleeves and my head goes through the hole at the top, but I’m far from fashionable. I always envied those people who knew how to layer or accessorize or mix-n-match or make style statements.
When I went to my first gay bar, I stressed about what I would wear having only been a lesbian in the privacy of my dorm room. I had no experience presenting myself as a lesbian in public. What kind of lesbian was I? And what did lesbians like me wear? How did I know what lesbians like me wear if I didn’t know what kind of lesbian I was? How would I look New York Cool when I’d been rocking Midwestern Frump? Why was I too stupid to appreciate the simplicity of a t-shirt, jeans and boots?
“What do you mean ‘Wear whatever you want?!?’ “ I yelled at my lesbian friend taking me to the lesbian bar. “That is so unhelpful!!”
I am only grateful that I came out before the digital age. There are few photos of me during that unfashionable time, and that suits me just fine. Get it? Suits me?
Wrapping up my rambling post, I have this to say. The only thing that separates us from the animals is the ability to accessorize…and the opposable thumb. The accessory line is from Steel Magnolias. The opposable thumb is just fact. Also, it’s good to come out of the closet when that closet is filled with unflattering clothes and ill-fitting sexuality. You be you. You’ll wear it well.
Happy Coming Out Day.