When I was 16, I told my mom I would be going on a date with a girl. It was my queer coming out story. I lived in a suburb full of closed minds and bad words for what I was about to do, but I needed to be honest, to tell my family the truth and discover my own identity. My parents didn’t skip a beat or make it a thing: My mom even went out and bought me some rainbow gay pride socks with “mom” in a heart stitched into them. I was lucky. And my queer identity is something I’m proud to call my own.
Seventeen years later, I found myself facing another “coming out” moment when I entered the cannabis industry. Sure, it may not have been the same kind of coming out as before. I knew the implications were safer, but it still felt like hurdle to jump. I felt strong in my convictions that this was the right place for my career, and it was also a product I believed in because it had a positive impact in my own life and in the lives of my loved ones. Still, there was that taboo and stigma around cannabis. And in a world of social media oversharing of life details, was I ready to attach those to my name? Would there be fallout?
When I considered this, I came back to the reason I “came out” all those years ago. It was what I felt in my heart. I choose to be open and share my cannabis experience and participation in the industry because I believe that people have the right to choose the life that makes them most happy and healthy. Cannabis is safe, and it makes my life better. In being open, I discovered a beautiful community of people who share my passion. I may have alienated a few of my more conservative family members, but I’m really grateful to live in a place where I can be openly proud of who I am and who I choose to love as well as the career I choose. I’m proud to be part of an effort to remove this sigma and bring normalization to cannabis consumption!