Today is National Coming Out Day.
According to HRC.org, “Every year on National Coming Out Day, we celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally.
“29 years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, we first observed National Coming Out Day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10.
“Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other.”
I came out 28 years ago. It took a bit for me to be fully out as the mother of a gay son and as an ally. Once I came out, there was no going back, no looking back. Each year on National Coming Out Day, I think about who I can come out to. I’m so “out” I can’t even think of anyone this year! However, next year I will be in a new home, in a new state. There will be many more opportunities to come out.
For me, coming out is not big pronouncement. It’s just the everyday conversations, the mundane ones. When I’m asked what brings me to North Carolina, I will tell the truth. That is, my son and his husband moved there. It’s no more awkward than saying my son and his wife live in Florida.
When I’m asked why I’m so passionate about LGBTQ rights, I easily say I have a gay son. But it’s more than that. There are too many LGBTQ children living on the streets, rejected by their faith and families. Every child deserves the unconditional love of their parents. That is where my passion stems from.
If you’re still not out, think about one person who is safe you can come out to. If you are already out as LGBTQ or an ally, think about helping someone else come out.
It’s National Coming Out Day! Happy coming out!