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Posts Tagged ‘Coming Out’


Friday, June 25th, 2010

Everywhere I look in NYC, there are rainbow flags. Everyone is gearing up for Pride weekend. It’s a time to celebrate diversity at its best. Most folks don’t even blink an eye when I tell them about my sexuality – in fact, they are happy for me (and my 16 year relationship).

I consider myself lucky to live in a place as “open” as New York City. So, when I am asked why I march, why I come out, why I speak so often and openly about being gay, it’s because many marched before me so I could hold my partner’s hand in public and many will come after me who I hope can do this in every place without retribution or violence.

For me, Pride weekend is a time I get to sing and dance in the streets while holding my partner’s hand. While this may seem like a small act, the truth is there are many places where it is not safe for gay couples to be open. And like many other gay people, I have been called derogatory names. I have been called “faggot”, “dyke”, “homo” among other things. And while all the names may be true, the venom with which they are spoken has been full of hate. I have been spit at, had glass bottles thrown at me, and told I have ruined civilization and I will be sent to hell.

I stand proud of who I am and invite you to stand with me. And this weekend, you might just hear me singing at the top of my lungs, “New York City, New York City, Loud and Proud, Loud and Proud!”

To celebrating the Pride in each of us,
Mary Anne

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April OM Meditations

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I started the month of April by asking folks to “play the fool” and to bring forth their most outrageous, wild, playful self. In keeping with tradition, I am ending the month by sharing monthly meditations and contemplative questions as a way to open up to more joy and let love in.

As an invitation, feel free to close your eyes, sit with your spine straight and take a few soft breaths. Then inhale a little deeper through your nose, and on the exhale, repeat the mantra OM (AUM).  Do this three times. Allow yourself to really feel everything and become the observer of your thoughts. Feel free to focus on one question or statement below and just allow your experience to unfold.

How can we allow empty spaces to teach us, to fill us, to empty us?

Love is reciprocity. Love doesn’t worry about being liked & having approval.  Love exists within our inabilities, imperfections, & faults—and our value never decreases.

How do you come out in the world? How do you want to come out fully and shine your light for the entire world to see?

Living authentically means embracing who we are and allowing our full light to shine.

How often do we close our own hearts & need a locksmith to open it and let love in? How do you let love in?

Be Love
You are loved. Stay there.

Letting love in, I am healed;
Letting love in, I am whole;
Letting love in, I remember;
Letting love in, I am Free.

Each person will have their own experience so the invitation is to be open for whatever thoughts flow through you. Allow your mind and body to expand into the experience (without judgment).  Feel free to start with whatever mantra calls to you.

May you experience letting love in and allowing your heart to expand.

Make at least 10 people smile today.
Mary Anne

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Overwhelmed by Love

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Sometimes I hit the “enter” button on the keyboard and wonder how people will respond to one of my writings I post publicly on my blog. I was so excited to write a blog about “coming out” and how we all get a chance to do that every day when we live life as who we are openly and authentically. I spent years being ashamed of who I was, which brought me so much unhappiness. It has taken me some time, but now all parts of my life are integrated – loving relationships, friendships, hobbies, spirituality, work, and dreams.

Many people were moved by my “coming out” blog and have written some amazing responses. I am sharing some of the responses because they were full of so much wisdom. I have been overwhelmed by the love and acceptance that has flowed my way. May each day give us a chance to embrace who we are and allow our full light to shine.

“Here’s to being able to truly be authentic, to openly say ‘this is an important part of who I am’, without shame or fear. I look forward to embracing & welcoming others doing the same, whatever hidden part of themselves that may be.”

“I too blew off the (High School) reunion thinking no one would remember me or care if I was there, and it saddens me to think you felt alone during any part of your life.”

“I am happy to have found all the PC (High School) people here, as well. So many people (girls and guys) that I wish I had gotten to know then…because I’m coming to learn that we can each offer support and friendship to others.”

“In many ways, the most significant ‘coming outs’ for me have been politically and spiritually and those self-realizations might not have happened if it wasn’t for my needing to deal with my sexual orientation. As you said, I needed to live authentically before my light could shine, both in personal relationships and professionally.”

“But then I thought, what would I have done if you shared this with me? Would I have had the maturity and grace and compassion to accept you, to help you? Probably not, back then. It’s a cruel trick of nature that we start to realize who we are, just when our peers are least likely to accept us! But if there is one thing I’ve learned, and something I hope (God I hope) I can impart to my daughters, it’s this: EVERYONE feels alone and different and depressed and disconnected in high school, at some point. Nobody ever feels they are good enough. We need to live a lot of years before we realize, hey, we’re ok after all.”

With gratitude,
Mary Anne

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A Coming Out Party!

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

A coming out party is in order! The recent buzz of Ricky Martin didn’t feel like the usual announcement — “Yep, I’m gay.” Rather his announcement was more like, “Yep, we know you are gay.” From Adam Lambert to Sean Hayes to Ricky Martin, more and more people are coming out of the closet. By the time they publically announce their sexual orientation, there have already been rumors flying around. After coming out, people want to know what took them so long.

Every “coming out” is personal and courageous. As my friend Joe Monkman shared in his blog, Fishing for Soul, “Denying who we are and living an inauthentic life can sometimes (maybe all the time) create suffering.” Living authentically means embracing who we are and allowing our full light to shine.

I think back to high school when I realized I was gay and was hoping and praying no one in my Catholic High School knew. I thought I did a pretty good job hiding it and paid the price by withdrawing, suffering from depression, and emotionally shutting down. I carried a story about high school up until this year when finding friends on Facebook gave me the opportunity to reconnect with so many alumni. I actually thought my high school friends would not even remember me and even blew off my 20 year reunion a few years ago as a way to keep the story alive about feeling so disconnected in high school.

As I began to reestablish connections with high school friends, I saw how all of our lives held many versions of “coming out in the world” – whether it was getting married, finding a life partner, having children, moving away from family, getting a divorce, having to deal with children who have special needs, or being courageous in our careers. Every day we have the chance to come out. Over the last 20 years, I have come out as a gay woman to my family, my friends and my co-workers (that’s a story all unto itself). I have come out in many other areas of my life as well. I have had to accept myself as an entrepreneur and small business owner. I have declared myself to be a writer. I am out in the world as a Life Coach. Each one of these parts of my life is a chance to shine my light – to play bigger – and to stop hiding who I am.

How do you come out in the world? How do you want to come out fully and shine your light for the entire world to see? Let’s all have a coming out party!

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to all my family and friends—especially to my friends from Paramus Catholic High School for accepting me after 20+ years (despite my blowing off the reunion).

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