Daniel Davis My Coming Out Story

In honor of National Coming Out Day, here is my story.

 

October 11th, 2016

 

I’m going to detail my story within the context of childhood to the

present. This will hopefully etch a broader scenario. I was born in

Rapid City, South Dakota on April 21st 1993. Both sides of my family are

deeply rooted in Catholicism. To add, my step father was raised

Lutheran. Though the leanings of doctrine were present in my family, my

parents weren’t avid church-goers. However, the socially conservative

attitudes on homosexuality were still present in how they raised me.

 

I had shown homosexual traits when I was but a child. Though I don’t

hold any harsh feelings, I was scolded when caught exhibiting this

behavior. In my heart, I knew I certainly was attracted to men- however

I didn’t want to alienate my family. I buried my fears and insecurities

deep within. I dated women & had a long term relationship in high

school. I did however align myself with the theatre department toward

the end of my educational career at Central High School. I truly felt

myself exiting a barrier and fulfilling who I was supposed to be through

the artform. Theatre was and is the ultimate platform of human

expression. The department & individuals affiliated helped me discover

beautiful aspects of myself. Qualities that I didn’t realize.

 

Fast forward to post graduation, I no longer had that apparatus to

express myself. My relationship disbanded. I fell into a depression. I

didn’t know what to do with myself as the future progressed. To combat

this darkness and my homosexuality, I entered the waters of baptism and

became a Latter-day Saint. I was introduced to the faith by a close

friend of mine. I took into consideration the sense community Latter-day

Saints shared, among other things. I had hoped this would fill the void

within me. I studied the scriptures diligently & then prepared to go on

a two year mission. It wasn’t until some administration issues and a

wide range of other topics at the helm unfolded that caused my exit from

the faith. I stepped away from organized religion completely & took two

years to vacate within myself.

 

At the end of that sojourn, I came to an epiphany.

 

First off, I looked at the individuals in my life. I realized how much

of a beautiful support system I have. Building a healthy network of

positive individuals has such an impact. I had the foundation of enough

people behind me to become public about it. Secondly, I looked at my own

well being. I had figured that I should put my happiness at the

forefront. Taking ownership of my humanity was incredibly crucial. We

are who we are. When we inhibit ourselves, we do the world a disservice.

It had finally become time to accept that I am homosexual. Though many

may feel contrary- I feel that it is a blessing. I embrace it. With

these two incredible realizations in combination with one another- I

came out on March 17th, 2015 (Saint Patrick’s Day, appropriate right?).

I made an announcement on social media, to my stomach’s dropping/upset.

Liberation, self love- these sentiments came to me after I shared this

aspect of myself. Though I was expecting a torrent of chaos- I actually

received the contrary. I was greeted with mostly love & support. Though

some relationships have since dissolved, I finally freed myself from the

bonds of psychological torment.

 

A year had passed & I grew into myself furthermore. I attended BHCFE

events, such as Pride 2015 & 2016. I found solace, indeed a true

environment of tolerance. I have the desire to expand that feeling into

other spaces. Ever too often do people within our community live in

terror. Fear of being disowned, peer shunning, physical/mental abuse, or

worse. Not to mention basic human rights being denied regularly. With

our stories, with our experience, with our love- we will wash the ills

of intolerance away.

 

As a result of my attendance to these events, I felt a fervent desire to

become more involved. I was accepted onto the Board of Directors for the

Black Hills Center for Equality in August of 2016. I was then voted as

the Black Hills Center for Equality Board Secretary in October of 2016.

 

I love the work that we as the organization do. I love all of you. As we

proceed, I am optimistic for our movement.

 

Here’s to our future.

 

Sincerely,

 

Daniel Todd Davis

BHCFE Board Secretary

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