It’s National Coming Out Day and this makes me sad.
Don’t worry, dear Readers, I don’t say that because I’m switching sides. I’m still a gender queer, bisexual writer of M/M erotic romance that supports love over labels. The reason NCOD makes me sad is because we shouldn’t need a day to encourage us to be who we are. I dream of a time when people aren’t in or out of the closet, but simply are who they want to be.
That time is not now, and so we have such things like National Coming Out Day. It’s certainly not a bad thing to have. While I’d rather we didn’t have it because it’s not necessary, it is supremely better than not having it because I live in a country where being gay can get you arrested, jailed, and executed.
Except, we do live in a country where being a member of the GLBT community can get you bullied, beaten, mocked fired, tortured, harassed, frightened, ostracized, ignored… I could go on, but if you’ve been around lately, you’ve heard about teens getting bullied to death, a gay man being kidnapped and tortured by eight “men”, and a variety of offenses against humanity from losing a job for being transgendered to being denied the basic right to marry for being gay.
It kind of sounds like an argument for staying in the closet, doesn’t it?
No, no, no. Because so many people are willing (or forced) to hide who they are, the anti-gay asshats of the world think we are but a minority of the world. Between GLBT people and their straight supporters, I believe we are a majority. Fear keeps many from saying so openly. I believe that if every G, every L, every B, every T, and every Q stand up and tell their small part of the world that they are proud to be who they are, then we could not possibly count how many eyes we open in the process. Is it a risk? Yes, it is, but anything beautiful will be.
This year, as you think about coming out, or if you already are, make a pledge to do more than acknowledge your support. Fight for it. Speak up if you hear someone being mean. Defend your friends. Donate your time and/or money to great causes like The Trevor Project, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, and the Human Rights Campaign. Don’t just label yourself gay or transgendered; call yourself human and worthy of love and life. The latest campaign slogan is “It gets better” but it can’t get better if you don’t strive to find that place you want to be. Seek your goals and dreams. Seek yourself.