Nothing in the Big Gay World is as dynamic and profoundly personal as coming out, but as Time.com points out today, the global takeover of social media has changed the way we think about the process. “Facebook is like drive-thru coming out,” out journalist Caryn Brooks writes, “quick, cheap and open all night.”
Before offering some practical advice about coming out on Facebook (i.e. Make an exception for your parents. Navigating FaceSpace is stressful enough for your mom and dad without stumbling across lip-locked pictures of you and your “roommate.”), Brooks offers great insight into one of the major ways social networking sites change the way we relay our sexuality to friends.
I find that this is especially true for friends or acquaintances who aren’t in your inner circle, but who you will probably run into on occasions — even if it’s at a class reunion. If those people are already familiar with your sexuality, it doesn’t become the focus of your future interactions. According to your old classmate’s Facebook status, the literary character she is most like is Elizabeth Bennet, and according to yours, your girlfriend gets pissy when she has to assemble furniture from IKEA.
The downside of having a personal blog, Twitter and Facebook is that you may not have anything new to share with your friends over dinner. The upside: no one is shocked when you show up holding hands with a chick.
Here are some of Brooks’ best tips about coming out on Facebook.
After reading Time‘s article, I tabbed over to Twitter to see how Big Gay Reveals are faring in the world of metadata, and was a little surprised to find that #comingout is flourishing. The hash tag search reveals everything from personal anecdotes to news stories to television spoilers.
My personal experience with using social media for coming out is, well, personal. But it’s also necessary. I mean, it’s 2009; half of my friends live inside my computer.
How do you feel about using social media like Facebook and Twitter for coming out?