Why My Coming Out Matters to You (guest post by Pieter Niemeyer)

Pieter Niemeyer and his wife Susie have been part of our New Direction community for a little over a year now.  They’ve been married 22 years, and they have three children.  Last year, Pieter came out to his family as a gay man, and has also more recently come out more broadly, including being interviewed for Daily Xtra.  Pieter pastors at a Mennonite church, and he is now co-facilitating our Richmond Hill Generous Space Group.  He also created a website called MennoQmunity and has recently written for the Canadian Mennonite.  This is an excerpt from a reflection he gave at his church after coming out to all the church members.

My wife Susie has called me a “coming out tank.”  Why? Because I have come out to well over 200 hundred people, mostly face to


Over the course of coming out, I have heard a tremendous amount of encouragement. In the midst of it, I also heard comments like: “it doesnʼt matter,” “it makes no difference,” “itʼs not my business,” or “it doesnʼt change anything.”  I understood these comments to be intended as reassurances that our relationship wouldn’t be negatively affected by this disclosure.

I am grateful for such a message, and yet as I heard these comments many times over, I began to think to myself, well it really does matter, it does make a difference and it is your business. I began to feel that these phrases actually needed to be unpacked more.

My goal is to explore the deep faith reasons for why it matters, why it makes a difference, why my coming out really is your business, and how things really do need to change.

I appreciate the sentiment, but we arenʼt there yet. Right now it does matter relationally and theologically and spiritually and sexually… it all matters. A time will come when we can say “It doesnʼt matter,” “It makes no difference,” or “Itʼs not my business,” and that will be totally fine, but it isnʼt right now.