October 11 marks National Coming Out Day. For those of you who had any questions regarding my sexual orientation, allow me to put all questions to rest. I’m a very proud gay man. One might ask, so what? Why announce it? Why do I insist on being so visible? Why do we need a National Coming Out Day?
I cannot underscore enough the importance of being out and visible. The more visible we are as a community, the more difficult it is to marginalize us and treat us as sub-human, or second class citizens, denied over 1,300 rights that our heterosexual brothers and sisters are granted just for being heterosexual.
Currently there are 29 states — over half of the US — where it is still legal to actively discriminate against LGBT folk. Yes, in 29 states one can be fired for being gay. Not a big surprise that no state in the South has the slightest protection for the LGBT community. (There do exist individual cities that provide limited protection.) I guess that wacky Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision from 2003 meant nothing. Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, is trying to reinstate the sodomy laws their, so as to protect the United States from gay sex. Poor Cuccinelli seems to be unaware that sodomy laws have just as big of an impact on heterosexual sex as they do “gay” sex. Again, it seems odd to me when people are so focused on gay sex. One might wonder what is hiding in Ken Cuccinelli’s closet. Click here to see if the state you live in can legally fire a human being for being gay. Obviously, this puts people who are gender non-conforming at higher risk, not to mention the greater risk for LGBT folk of color being targeted.
I hope that today there will be much celebrating as people find the courage to use their voices individually and collectively to be Out and Proud as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender person. Living one’s life authentically allows for great freedom and of course supports the (tongue in cheek) Big Gay Agenda.