My Thoughts after being Outed as LGBTQ, and still being religious afterwards

Coming out should be an experience that you can control. You should be able to tell who you want to tell, when you want to tell them. Unfortunately, myself and many other LGBTQIA+ teens lose their control of that experience. Outing an LGBTQ person is never okay. If you’ve experienced any type of outing, I feel your pain and I am with you and here for you. This is my story:

Early in February, I was publicly outed via Twitter. To those who have had a similar experience, I feel your pain.

It was a Sunday, the day when most Christians participate in church worships. At 9:30 on February 2, 2020, I received a tweet on my business account that made my heart sink. It was a close “friend” of mine who I had chosen to come out to. He said “@derekischmitz, how do you believe you can be LGBTQ and Christian”. I sank. I was angry and I shut down. My biggest two fears about being pansexual had just come out…being outed, and being questioned on my religious beliefs.

That tweet has forever changed my professional careers and personal life.

I had to do something to save face and acknowledge the incident, as my advocacy account where I have the most followers, traction, and impact was the one which was tagged in the outing. I chose to reclaim my outing and come out on my own terms. Doing so was my only option. I couldn’t lie, nor could I act like nothing had happened, as people had seen that tweet. I chose to draft a press release type statement that you all may have seen, saying:

“Dear followers,

I was publicly outed (the process of revealing a secret held closely, most commonly used by LGBTQ+ members to describe the revelation of sexuality) today by a fellow member of the community. Today, Sunday, February 2, 2020, I am publicly announcing that I am Pansexual and am claiming myself today to be a part of the LGBTQ community. I use pansexuality as an umbrella term to mean I will show romance, love, and affection to anyone, regardless of gender.

I am a saved Christian. The God I serve loves all and forgives all sin, regardless of the “severity” or the “degree” of the sin being committed. Most southern Christians, being raised are taught that “homosexuality is a sin” and that “it is wrong”. It may be wrong in your views, but the God I serve instructs us all to not judge and to accept all. I am a disabled, pansexual, Christian, and today, as I write this, I have pride in that statement. I will loose some followers for this. If you can’t see me for who I am and accept me, then I don’t want to be associated with you. I appreciate all who have supported and continue to support me. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.


Derek Ivan Schmitz”

At 1:17pm on that same day, I released that statement and reclaimed my outing as a moment to expand my advocacy and as a thing to be proud of.

I was angry when I wrote that statement. I still am. It’s okay to be angry if something like this happens to you. I feel your pain. I should not have had to write or release that statement that I showcased earlier, nor should I be writing this very piece right now, but because of a “friend” and his action, I had to.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that the LGBTQ community is with you. Whether you can come out by your own decision and on your own timing, or if you are outed, you have a space in this community…in our community. Thank you.

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