11th October is National Coming Out Day, a day that means lots of different things to different people. As an inclusive Rugby Club we know the importance of providing a safe space where everyone can be themselves.
To celebrate, our very own Michael Hudson would like to share a few words with our supporters.
“Some people came out a long time ago, but find themselves coming out over and over again with every new person they meet.
Some people are planning on coming out to close family and friends soon but have worries or concerns.
Some people are sure of their identity but don’t want to, or feel that they can’t, come out to anyone.
Even in the last few days we have seen international sports stars mocking the idea of coming out and once again using the lived experiences of LGBTQ people as a punchline.
Coming out can be a difficult, fearful, and drawn out process for people and it is upsetting that people feel the need to make fun of a process that people struggle with all of their lives. From the anxiety before you tell anyone, to uncomfortable questions during your coming out, to the correcting of a seemingly harmless “and what is your wife’s name?” question from a telemarketer, coming out is an incredibly personal moment where a person tells the world about a meaningful part of them.
So, in case anybody need a reminder:
- There’s no right or wrong time to come out. Whether you are 16 or 60, you can come out when and if you feel comfortable to do so.
- Being in the closet doesn’t mean you are lesser part of the LGBTQIA+ community. You can be proud of who you are as quietly as you need to.
- Who you choose to share your sexual orientation or gender identity with is nobody’s business but yours.
- And “It doesn’t matter” is not always the most supportive thing to say, as someone has made an often tough and personal decision to share this information with you.
Since we established as a club in 2017, the Sheffield Vulcans have a policy that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation. Many of our players choose to share this with their teammates but to us as a club, we choose not to use this a factor for membership. What matters is that we are a rugby team that champions the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and the belief that a person’s identity has no affect on how they play the game.
I’m proud that we have a club that has welcomed over 70 gay, bisexual, trans, nonbinary, queer, questioning, and allied people into a club and to share a love of rugby.
So, whether you’ve been out and proud for years, or still considering whether you want to tell someone about your identity, you are valid, you are loved, and you are not alone. However you’re celebrating today, Happy National Coming Out Day!
In the wise words of Oscar Wilde; “Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken.”
Want to learn more about Sheffield Vulcans and inclusive rugby? Drop me a message via email firstname.lastname@example.org.