Coming out is an important rite of passage for all queer persons. It is the act of revealing to the world who you really are and as such it signifies the end of hiding. I have written elsewhere about coming out as a sacrament: the act of outwardly expressing your inner grace. September 2012 I wrote the fateful coming out post – Being queer – It was the post that eventually led to me leaving the Salvation Army. That post ends with the following paragraph:

Will writing a blog post like this make me a pariah, outcast from the Christian fellowship? Are we truly a redemptive, forgiving, grace community. Where every prodigal is loved and cherished no matter how queer the secret? Or do we only want fellowship wearing masks, hiding our uniqueness, our queerness, pretending to all be straight, vanilla Christians who always play by the rules and never cross any boundaries? Let’s find out!

And find out we did, within a year I had been first promoted to Captain and then, allbeit quietly, strongarmed into signing my own resignation. I was out of the closet, out of the army and anathema to the Christian fellowship that had been my life and was supposed to be – for the rest of my life. In this sense coming out is a transformational event, it’s not something you do for fun. It is the (sometimes painful) process of shoeing the world who you really are. Once done nothing is ever the same. Like Humptey Dumptey, you cannot “fix it”. Unlike Humptey Dumptey though, it isnt broken, or maybe the breaking is the fix.

In greek grammar perfect is a tempus denoting an past action that has been completed and yet the effects of it are still present and ongoing. If I was writing this in greek my coming out would have been in perfect. Something I did in the past that is still happening today and still true. It was the perfect coming out.

The caveat is of course that whie coming out is a one time event, it is also a process. One that never ends. I am still coming out, still revealing to the world who I really am, the fullness of me. The apostle Paul writes:

For now we see a riddle in a mirror, but then – face to face. Now I recognize a part – then I will see, just as I have been seen (or known).

1 Cor 13.12 (My translation from NA28)

Truth is I can only come out and reaveal as much of myself as I have truly understood and while I can’t or won’t take it back – I only saw a prt of the truth so I could only show you that part. Now most Christians understand this as a two step process with the final reveal at the end of time – Judgement day. However just as god’s reality-realization (most often referred to as the kingdom of god) is both here now and also not fully realized. In the same way, I believe, the process of coming out is a gradual one, one reveal at a time.

It is like a teapestry being woven on a loom, then I could see only parts of it, some where still a mystery, a riddle, and some where clear as day. I showed then what I could, what I understood to be true. Now I see more and therefore can unveil new parts, other parts. And still I came out in the past, it is still true AND I am still coming out, revealing who I am until one day when the tapestry is all done, I will be able to see it and recognise it just as it has been seen and known by the divine and everyone around me.

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