It appears that today is National Coming Out day. So in case you didn’t know it, I’m a big ole homo. Died in the wool , card carrying, and totally 100% unequivocally gay. I wasn’t molested. I wasn’t brain-washed. No one made me this way. I came this way. And for some that is a hard truth to swallow1 but belief is not a prerequisite of truth.
I always enjoy seeing who will come out on days like this. Even though incredibly painful2, I’ve never regretted my coming out 28 years ago. I came out very young and the repercussions definitely changed my life and not always for the better. The events leading up to the fatal day I almost took my own life changed me forever. I left behind the fear, the worry, and the shame. Never again would I allow anyone to make me feel anything but proud of what I am.
While we have gained some major ground as of late, the fight is not over. LGBT folk all over this country and the world are still be targeted for harassment, physical violence, imprisonment, and even death just for being born different. We must continue to fight for those who don’t enjoy our freedoms. We must attempt to educate those who fear and hate us because we are different. The simplest and most effective way IMO is for them to see we aren’t that much different. The number one thing that changes a person’s mind or heart is first hand experience. Given the chance to get know an openly gay person, many people see past the stereotypes. They see past the rhetoric, the lies, the hate, and the fear. The learn we are human beings just like them who just want to get ahead in life. The fact we happen to have same-sex attractions doesn’t make us evil or perverted just different. Our ‘agenda’ is the same as theirs.3 And when people see that they begin to change their minds. They learn, they grow, they evolve.
I encourage anyone out there pondering the idea of coming out to do so. The simple act of being open and honest will change hearts and minds. Sometimes it only takes a small spark to lite a roaring fire. Be that spark.