On this National Coming Out Day Week (the actual day is Friday, in case you want to start practicing your “I’m here, I’m Queer” chants), we get another interesting lesson in the fine and fuzzy art of saying I am gay. Team U.S. soccer superstar and all-around badass Abby Wambach and her Western New York Flash teammate Sarah Huffman tied the knot over the weekend.
Their relationship was common knowledge for a while. They tweeted about each other and took pictures with each other and appeared on red carpets with each other. In July, Sarah officially came out in an Athlete Ally announcement. But Abby has never officially come out, at least not in the traditional sense. All other senses, you betcha. I mean, she got that haircut. (Kidding, kidding – sorta.)
Then on Tuesday afternoon TMZ “broke” (a pretty accurate word choice, when it comes to them) the story of their wedding after her teammates congratulated her en masse from the couple’s Hawaii wedding via Twitter. And Abby pretty much confirmed it with her own tweet yesterday.
Sarah and I wanted to thank everyone for all the love and support. We couldn't be happier. What an amazing week it's been. #honeymoon— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) October 9, 2013
So that means she is officially, officially out and we can name her in our Out Gay Athletes lists and dress like her at Halloween, right? Right.
Coming out without ever saying, “Yep, I’m gay” to the press or in a press release or to a fleet of passenger pigeons is still coming out, at least in my book. Call it the Jodie Fosterification of coming out.
Don’t get me wrong, saying the words is still important. To yourself, to your family, to the whole damn world. And I think it’s still preferable because we tiny humans tend to be a dense bunch and nothing drives a point home more clearly than just saying, “Dude, I’m totally gay.” And I do still hope Abby goes ahead and says it out loud sometime soon. Because what we stay and how we say it and who then gets to hear it still matters, it matters so much.
But living one’s life completely openly but also largely unspokenly (not a word, just go with it) is another way to do it. And, you know what, I’ll take it. I will take a life led authentically without hiding or denial or subterfuge minus uttering those three little words. Some people simply do no want to talk about their private lives, and I get that. In writing we’re always told to show, not tell. And life well lived is the ultimate show, even if you never get around to the telling.
Congratulations ladies, here’s to a lifetime of happiness together.