The Age of Authenticity—Coming Out as You

Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
We are living in an age of authenticity, one in which we are being called by the spirit within us to be true to our soul selves and to live from a place of love. When my partner Anne and I married a year ago after 31 years together, we were very conscious of stepping into an expansive collective energy of love and acceptance that was unparalleled in our lifetime. Within the time span of our relationship, the world had shifted profoundly in its openness to many different kinds of people, partnerships, and life commitments. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision for marriage equality throughout the 50 states further demonstrates the power and momentum of these changes. To me, the increasing acceptance of marriage equality is symbolic of a larger acceptance of diversity and individual authenticity in the world.

Even the mainstream media is beginning to reflect this shift in consciousness. In an Ellen interview a few months ago, Jill Soloway, creator of the TV series Transparent, talked about her father, who became a transgender woman at 74, as the inspiration for her show. She explained how trans people are moved to make a break for freedom, for authenticity, to save their own lives: “It really is an example for all of us about leading authentic lives.” Individuals like Jill’s father have been standing up for their own inner truth within the trans identity for many years now, opening closed doors and closed minds for those who followed.

At this year’s Tony awards, broadcast on national TV, lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s poignant life story Fun Home won five awards, including best musical. It made history as the first Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist. Alison has humorously chronicled the feminist movement and lesbian life for more than 30 years in “alternative” publications. Her 2006 memoir, which is the basis for the show, brought her national recognition—fascinating to those of us who have read and loved her comic strips for many years. There she was—authentic down-to-earth Alison—on stage at the Tonys, praised as brilliant for sharing her very real life story.

These individuals are living their soul selves. Alison has done it for most of her life; Jill’s father aligned with it later in life. Each of their lives is a sign of something much greater coming into being. Something that will touch all of our lives eventually, in one way or another. We see it played out publicly in the media, but those better-known examples are singular reflections of countless private lives around the globe. The Great Shift we are experiencing now on planet Earth is moving us all to consciously choose change, evolution, and soul truth over prevailing social expectations and outdated behavioral models.

The term “coming out” has historically been associated with the LGBT community and those who have had the courage to live the truth of their lives, even in the face of danger, derision, and ostracism. Now the term appears to be expanding to include all those who are coming to a deeper soul-self awareness and bringing that unique expression out into the world. The rainbow symbol is truly all-inclusive. The LGBT community has been standing strong in our diverse expressions, challenging the sexual-identity status quo, for decades. In so many ways, we have been breaking new ground and speaking out for all those who don’t fit into prescribed social norms, those called “different” for whatever reason.

As new waves of acceptance of diversity of all kinds continue to sweep across the globe, language itself will change. “Difference” will no longer be shunned because we all are different. We won’t have to “come out” because no one will have to be hidden. In the age of authenticity, you, in your most awesome authentic soul expression, will be the protagonist of your own life, loved for your brilliance by all who know you. Applause, applause—for each and every one of us!


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