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Ask Mr. Manners

You get to exhale now

coming out
Written by Rock Magen

Each Monday, my partner and I join friends for a movie night at our local movie theater. The group rotates choosing the film; over time, we’ve seen some excellent movies and some left us shaking our heads. However, one friend suggested we see Love, Simon and for the first time since starting the group, I left the theater feeling something new — hope.

For those who have not seen Love, Simon I don’t want to ruin it, but I want to talk about the part of the film that left a significant impression on me. Simon asks his mother if she knows he’s gay and her response resonated deeply with me. She replied, I knew you had a secret. When you were little, you were so carefree. But these last few years, more and more, it almost like I can feel you holding your breath … I need you to hear this: You are still you … you get to exhale now. You get to be more you than you have been in a very long time. You deserve everything you want.”

That scene, coupled with the upcoming Pride festival, made me think about the times where, like Simon, I was holding my breath and preventing myself from being carefree. We each have our secrets, but I want you to take a moment to reflect and think about what your life would be like if you let those secrets go. Maybe you still need to come out, or you’ve come out with residual guilt hindering your potential. While our situations may not get a Hollywood ending it is still important to focus on ourselves and being happy.

Although Pride isn’t precisely the same as secrets, it is a chance for our entire community to breathe. We celebrate who we are, and if it is only for a single parade down the streets of SLC we are carefree — no longer holding our breath. I think life doesn’t always hand these opportunities out. There are roadblocks regardless of where you are in life, and you should take the chance to let down your walls, learn who you are, and who you want to be. As Pride approaches, take time to stop and reflect on what the event means to you. What would you do if you were carefree — even for a day?

We all don’t have parents like those depicted in Love, Simon but we can apply the lessons to our lives. Like Simon, it’s time to exhale and be more than you have been. You deserve everything you want and more. 

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Rock Magen

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