In recognition of National Coming Out Day on October 11th, The Appendix would like to highlight the importance of LGBTQ diversity in healthcare and shed light on care for LGBTQ populations. Below is a poetic essay on coming out by Nathen Spitz:
The plush passenger seat of your grandmother’s sky-blue Pontiac pushes against my back as I settle in for a ride neither of us will ever forget. Dust blows behind as we rush down the compact gravel roads with no destination in mind, and I turn the radio on to hear the static of a station struggling to convey its message.
Cruising between rows of meticulously planted corn, I tell you there was a reason I asked for us to go for a drive—there was something I’ve been needing to say. I anxiously drum my fingers on my legs and tap my feet at a quickening pace. My pulse races as I try to remain stoic to not show the fear of rejection on my face.
We say that we tell each other everything, but there is one secret that I’ve kept. One that I’ve carried with me for years—one that has stolen my breath while I wept. The dam inside my heart that is holding back a flood of years of fears begins to crack, and I know that once I say it, there is no going back. I am terrified that once I change the channel, you aren’t going to like the song playing in my heart that has been waiting to start.
I ask you to pull over and you press heavily on the brakes. It takes all my strength to bring to my lips what I’ve been waiting years to say to someone other than the reflection I hated in mirrors—I am gay.
I turn the tuner. Now on the same wavelength at last, we rush down the road with a clarity in our connection, no more fear of being outcast. We turn up the volume as we can hear each other clearly now—static, just a memory of the past.
“I was and am extremely fortunate to have friends and family that have supported me throughout my coming out process–which I know is not the same for everyone throughout the country. As I struggled with coming to terms with who I was, I didn’t really have any role models aside from those in TV shows to look up to. It was and is always important for me to come out to be more ‘visible’ for the next generation of LGBTQ+ people and future doctors that they may see it is possible to live out their truth as well.”
About the Creator:
Nathen Spitz is an M2 at the Carver College of Medicine. When not studying, you can find him up in the gym just working on his fitness, binging the latest Netflix show, or planning his next concert.