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Coming out. Saturday February 28, 2015

On 31st December my beloved and I were married. While this of course has great meaning in our own personal histories, it just so happens it has wider historical significance. The reason being we are both women and one of the first same sex couples to be wed in Scotland. You'd be forgiven for thinking that given the historic nature of the event I was out and proud. But when the time came to share my marital status with the wider world, I realised I was scared.

Desiring minimal fuss we informed only a few close friends and family members of our plans to wed. On returning work I was hit with the dilemma of what to do when people asked how my Christmas holiday was. I didn't want to edit out the fact I was a newlywed, but every time I had a 'how was your holiday' chat I faltered. I am new to my job, and as awkward as the wedding news was for me to share, the news of my gayness is equally so. The end result being only a handful of people at work know, so in delivering the wedding news I was also coming out.

So out and proud or in and mortified? I used to think I was the former but over the past month I have been forced to reconsider. I now recognise the root of my fear is rejection. I don't have an issue with people knowing I'm gay, I am just uncomfortable being the one who tells. When I say 'my wife' I am looking for your reaction. I am studying your face for a change of expression, I am listening keenly to your tone when you respond. Because what I have done is peeled back a layer of my skin. I have said 'I am different, maybe not what you expect, please accept me'.

Of course being gay is just one brand of difference, a widely acknowledged one. Each of us are different in our own ways, and when sharing something that gestures towards that difference we seek acceptance. Whether that's of our sexuality, mental health problems, strange and startling hobbies or obscure tastes. I have realised that in editing out aspects of my life I have prevented the formation of real connections. I have masqueraded as someone else. A person I thought I had to be to gain acceptance. Slowly I am realising this has to stop.

A Moodscope member.

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Leah Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 1:52am

Amy , firstly congratulations to you and your wife on your recent marriage.
In my country on the other side of the world such marriages are not yet recognised.
What a boring , compassionless world we would live in if we were all the same.
Thanks for sharing your feelings with so much honesty. Cheers from down under

Laura Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 5:55am

Amy, congratulations on following your heart and getting married! Here in America, same-sex marriage is only recognized in certain states (which I think is terribly stupid, not to mention confusing). My wife and I have actually been married twice - in 2008, we drove to Canada and got married there; then, in the summer of 2013, my state of Minnesota passed same-sex marriage, so we got married in our own country and state a couple months later. It has only strengthened our bond and connection to each other; I hope you find that, too. I didn't realize I was gay until I was 36 years old, so I didn't have to hide who I was as a young person. I was "in the closet" only for about 9 months, until I met the woman I would marry. She was out and proud and gave me the courage to realize that I was okay just the way I am. I don't shout from the rooftops, "Hey everyone, I'm a lesbian!" but I talk about my wife in everyday conversation just like I would if I were married to a man. I'm sure people expect me to be straight when they meet me, but I (and my wife, too) act like my marriage is perfectly normal - because it is. I hope you get to the point where you feel comfortable sharing who you really are, because I know how difficult it is to pretend, or to leave something out, or to go along with someone when they ask about your husband. Please know that you matter, your truth matters. Every time you come out to someone, which again doesn't have to be a formal "coming out", you reinforce your worth as a full human being, you give the other person the opportunity to learn from you and practice acceptance (you'll be surprised how much support you get), and you're setting a positive atmosphere for the next generation of GLBT folks. More power to you!!

Adam Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 6:45am

Congratulations Amy to you and your wife! Your post chimed with me for two reasons: first because I have a strong tendency to "edit" who I am for different audiences and occasions; and secondly because I recently read that not truly being oneself is a top 5 regret of dying people. I have found that, hard as it sometimes is, being open and honest is liberating and empowering, whereas hiding who you are usually leads to regret.

Hopeful One Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 7:18am

Hi Amy- Wow! Congratulations!I wish you two the best in your married life.

crafty wee midden Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 8:06am

((((((((((Amy and your beloved wife))))))))))))
Many congratulations, and wishing you health and happiness

Anonymous Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 9:06am

Wonderful news. Well done for doing, sharing, being! I reckon coming out involves peeling back several layers, maybe revealing your very core, in a way that some straight people don't understand. And why would/should they? So have courage and enjoy the new found freedom. You deserve it.

Anonymous Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 9:10am

Congratulations Amy we've been in civil partnership for nearly 8 years and I'm proud to wear my wedding ring and refer to my man as my husband and almost 100% of the time I get a positive response I say we're married but one day will do the marraige bit.
Hold your head high your a happily married woman who happens to be married to another woman if anyone has a problem with it then it's their problem !

Mary Blackhurst Hill Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 10:57am

Lovely post Amy, and wishing you every happiness in your married life. Whether we come out as gay or come out as bipolar or as the author of erotic fiction (or any combination of those and more) we are making ourselves vulnerable because we're not quite "average"; not quite in the mill of the pack. We always have the fear that the pack will turn on us. But pretending to run in the middle of the pack is just so darn exhausting, so in the end it's easier to just be yourself as hard as you can. As has been quoted here before "You have to be yourself: everyone else is taken." Oscar Wilde.

Melanie Lowndes Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 3:55pm

Hi Amy, thank you so much for your post. It makes me realise how I feel afraid to really be myself with people and yet I don't have anything near so big to come out about - just things like I feel different because I am really into nature and spirituality and personal development and being on my own and stuff like that... I also liked very much what Laura had to say. For me it is wonderful that you have made a commitment to someone and are happy. Many congratulations and I wish you all the best in being open about this with lots of wonderful reactions and reflections coming back to you. (I am from Scotland too - rural Scotland!) Love, Melanie

Catherine Tempest Sat, Feb 28th 2015 @ 8:57pm

My sister has a female partner & my kids have grown up understanding their relationship is normal. Luckily today's society doesn't have the same hang ups as the last. Self acceptance it something we all struggle with.

Anonymous Sun, Mar 1st 2015 @ 5:49pm

Hello Amy, huge congratulations to you and your wife, that is wonderful! Wishing you both every blessing in your lives together.
I really loved your post - so true for so many things, big and small - it can almost become a habitual everyday occurrence to not be honest about who we are, whether in a passing conversation with an acquaintance or even with people close to us... A very timely reminder (for me) indeed! Thank you! Hannah Xxx

Kirsten Coeur Mon, Mar 2nd 2015 @ 5:19pm

I really enjoyed reading your perspective, Amy. I am so happy for you and your wife!!

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