It’s National Coming Out day, so let me take this moment to come out as a human being. Homo sapiens, even. Possibly with some Neanderthalensis DNA. (No, I don’t mean Trump.)

When I first realized I was a human being, I was a toddler. My Mom insisted that I not tromp through the house with muddy pants and shoes. She wanted things clean. I was a little girl, not an animal. Later, I discovered that I was an animal, too — a primate. I felt lied to, betrayed. I could have been both!

My skin tone varied between pale white and light tan, depending on the season. I noticed that some people’s skin tone varied from white to tan to ruddy to brown to black. They, too, were members of Homo sapiens, so I did not feel the need to come out to them. It seemed obvious. I did not consider myself better or worse than these other members of the race.

Sometimes, while growing up, I felt “girly” and wore makeup and nail polish. Other times, I felt “boyish” and climbed trees in jeans and sweatshirts. All of these activities felt good and right at the time.

Eventually, I married a man. At the time, he reminded me of Conan the Barbarian because he worked out and had long hair. He also had a bad temper. I did not come out then because everyone involved were still human beings.

Later, I left the terminally unhappy Conan and married a woman I wanted to be with. Weirdly, this resulted in awkward conversations and lots of denial by some human beings. But we were still all humans, so I didn’t know what all the fuss was about. Some of the human beings went away forever. Most of them were family members. That was odd. Blood, it turns out, is not thicker than water.

My wife and I proceeded to have two children, which confused some people since the “sperm human” was not immediately visible. “Sperm humans” are called men, unless they’re young, in which case they are boys. I am a woman, and I cannot make sperm, though I can make babies. So I did.

There is something else I might need to come out about. Our family includes members of Felis catus, which are not human beings, and might be better than human beings. We also have a member of Canis lupus familiaris. She is much sillier than human beings, in a good way. We like all kinds of species in our human house, though I have known humans who think other animals are dirty. That is an opinion.

I have often held my own opinions. I doubt I have held someone else’s opinions, strictly speaking, though I have agreed with people. I have noticed that many humans have all kinds of opinions. I don’t think that’s something we need to come out about, though. Come to think of it, I’m not sure why I needed to come out at all.

By Hewes, Henry Fox, 1867- — book page:, No restrictions,

Writer, painter, cat fancier, troublemaker, democratic socialist, & antifascist.

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