Coming out (of the closet), having its historical roots in LGBT communities and movements, is the first step in a private, public, political, spiritual journey. The process of coming out or the privilege of outing oneself can be a liberating, scary, intense, wonderful, life altering, lifelong process that has aided in visibility, community and movement building of queer and other communities. Visibility alone will not liberate us. It alone will not address the issues of healing, prevention, or what justice looks like for survivors. Not everyone is able to come out but those who can, help broaden the scope of what the movement is or can be.
I have come out many times throughout my life, as queer, trans/gender fluid, as a sex worker, as polyamorous, kinky, as mentally ill, sober, and as a survivor of sexual violence and trauma. In the coming weeks, The HEAL Project will be posting submissions for Outing CSA media campaign. The aim is to initially bring more visibility to those of us who are survivors of child sexual abuse or CSA. Broadly, it is an effort to continue the work of un-shaming, and shine a bright light on how many of us are affected by this hidden epidemic. It is about the process of healing and the intentional work of connecting our trauma to other movements.
If you are out about being a survivor of CSA or are willing and able to come out, please consider submitting to Outing CSA. You are not required to give details of your trauma, name perpetrators or what form of CSA you endured. We are Outing CSA—outing the “secret.” Join The HEAL Project and other individuals and organizations doing the work to put CSA on the radar of our lives and work.
At times, closeted or hidden and oppressed communities have counted on/appreciated those with resources/support/privilege to come out. We understand if you cannot, will not or are not able to come out. We support your process and journey. If it aids in your healing, we hope that at least, you are able to come out to yourselves. Below are some celebrities who are/were Out CSA survivors. Appreciation for celebrities and ’round-the-way everyday people, coming out to themselves and society. You/We are not alone.
** Maya Angelou, Derek Luke, Queen Latifah, Eve Ensler, Sheila E, Missy Elliott, Alice Walker, Antwone Fisher, Mary J. Blige, Erin Grey, Santana, Oprah, Marilyn Manson, Fiona Apple, Tyler Perry, Padma Lakshmi, Pam Grier, June Jordan, Margaret Cho, Billy Holliday and Rosie Perez.