“Coming out” process varies with circumstances

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By Ken Palmer
Knoxville news writer

KNOXVILLE – The “coming out” process is different for everyone. A recent workshop held at the Metropolitan Community Church of Knoxville provided the opportunity to explore and learn about this experience.

Betsy Deeter, LCSW, LMT facilitated the workshop, working with nearly a dozen people in attendance who spoke about their experiences and the stage in life in which they came out.. Activities were based in part on the book "Coming Out, An Act of Love"by Dr. Rob Eichberg, co-founder of National Coming Out Day.

Ms. Deeter was with the diverse ages present and sharing their intimate moments and memories.
"Self reflection,” she said,”is integral in overcoming the life barriers to fully come out and attain self-love, freedom and acceptance"

The atmosphere of complete confidentiality enabled participants to feel safe in sharing comments and activities of this group. One participant agreed to publicly share a revelation that occurred in disclosing his sexual preference to family members. Reading a personal letter to a beloved relative, "I wanted to tell (them) about who I am. Although I was not face-to-face, I just knew this was a chance to express with love who I really am. In my journey this was the time to do it"

Another workshop is being planned for Pride week in June 2006.