The Coming Out Machine

Trigger Warning: This blog post deals with coming out and it may be traumatic to some, especially during the holidays. This article, as well as its exercise attempts to do over a coming out process with a positive result. Please care for yourself as you see fit.

Let’s be honest. Holiday silliness is imminent. Despite consumerism eagerly keeping the yuletides “gay” it certainly is a challenging time to be one. I mean, one day you’re dodging the Salvation Army ringing their bell asking for support of their homo hatred and the other day you’re at your blood family’s dinner table listening to their gay rape jokes. And this is me talking: someone who happens to be cis-gendered and raised a Christian. Thanks to my enormous privilege, I can’t even fully comprehend what it would be like to be Muslim for example in this world that is sadly engaged in Christian supremacy. Nor can I imagine how hard my eyes would be rolling if I was one of my amazing trans kin listening to yet another toy commercial geared towards either girls or boys.

It comes as no surprise that during the holidays, being “out” can feel like ten pounds of poo in a five-pound bag. I find myself finding a quiet corner somewhere fantasizing about what acceptance – true acceptance, not sugar-coated tolerance, not “as-long-as-you-don’t-flaunt-your-lifestyle”, not “I-love-you-but-I-will-pray-for-you” acceptance – could look like. In truth, I’ve been imagining this scenario for years and funny enough, being sort of an older gal in the LGBTQ community, I find myself playing the role of the loving, accepting mother that a lot of us never had.

So that’s what we are going to do now. You and I. Right now through the wonders of this internet nonsense. You and I are going to recreate your coming out in this moment and it is going to go splendidly well. You can even add the musical score of your choice.

First, you are going to imagine who I am. You tell me. Am I one of your parents? Your grandparents? A close friend? Your siblings? You choose.

Now I want you to imagine me and where I am. Where would I be right now as you come out to me? Reading the paper? Preparing food for a family dinner? Ironing shirts? Cutting your hair? Imagine it. Take the time to envision every detail. Close your eyes and breathe it into being. When you’re ready I want you to open your eyes and see me as that person in the place you have chosen.

Take a breath and tell me your truth. That you have been lovers with the person I believed to be your “best friend”. That you want me to observe different pronouns. That your body will be changing. That your name will be changing. That you will be getting married to someone you love. That you are going to have a child. Tell me that truth.

Now listen to me carefully:

Thank you for telling me your truth. I can only imagine the amount of bravery it took to tell me that truth. You know, when you have a kid, you can’t guarantee that you’ll even like the kid. So many things can go wrong. But you. You are brave. The amount of bravery it takes to walk the world the way you do makes me so proud.

You are exactly what I wanted to love all along and I am blessed to know you. As in, you – the person who is changing, the person who is revealing themselves to me and to the world – is exactly the person I would be honoured to love. Thank you for being you.

Anyway…now that that is out of the way…have you eaten yet? Are you hungry? Let’s eat.

Happy Holidays.

Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez is playwright, performer and award-winning author. She is the author of M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book (Flamingo Rampant) and Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press). She is the Artistic Director of b current performing arts.

Read all posts by Catherine Hernandez

2 Responses to The Coming Out Machine

  1. Katharine Love says:


    Saw you tonight at Glad Day, you were luminous articulate and brave. Thank You

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