National Coming Out Day 2016: Supporting Each Other

11 Oct

coming-outGrab your smelling salts, clutch your pearls: I have big news. I am gay, queer, a homosexual. Yes, it is true. October 11 is National Coming Out Day. Why do we need this day? Why do we need to celebrate this 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 target us and treat us as sub-human or second class citizens. And here is where the messiness lives.

I cannot underscore enough how being able to be “out” is a privilege I have. I am painfully aware that many people in the United States are not able to “come out,” as the level of risk is too great.  Sadly, we know there are many in the LGBTQ community that the physical and emotional toll would be too great in coming out. Let us stand in solidarity and work to change the entire system that shames and denigrates the queer community. Right now that means to do whatever we can to defeat the horrifically homophobic and misogynistic deplorable duo that is Trump and Pence.

Currently there are 29 states — over half of the US — where it is still legal to actively discriminate against LGBT folk.  Look at this map provided by the ACLU to see where your state stands on protecting rights of LGBTQ people. 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, but of course look what happened when Charlotte, NC tried to create a safe city — Republican legislators slammed the whole state with the loathsome HB2.)  I guess that wacky Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision from 2003 meant nothing.

Sadly, in this election year, we have only seen venom coming from each GOP candidate regarding LGBTQ rights. Not only are Pence and Trump working to hurt our community, but the reinforcements from the GOP platform are nothing less than embarrassing.  Speaking of embarrassing, the exceedingly ignorant Gary Johnson is not an ally to our community, although a white heterosexual man tried to convince me he is. When you are pro-states rights around LGBTQ issues, you are NOT an ally.

It is imperative that people see this as political! Sadly, we continue to see the numbers rise in homicides and attacks on LGBTQ community; and we know these numbers are not accurate because people are too fearful to identify, or authorities misidentify people.  We need to vote for people who will support LGBTQ rights.

And I  hold out great hope for the future. I also want to thank all of the LGBTQ allies, for there are a great many of you. Let us support one another and stand in solidarity. Come out, come out, where ever you are!

14 Responses to “National Coming Out Day 2016: Supporting Each Other”

  1. bevanyardleigh October 11, 2016 at 6:11 am #

    Hooray for everyone who can safely find and share their voice. As a (not too) boring old white, straight guy, I offer my support and love. Let the walls of prejudice and intolerance fall!

  2. Central Oregon Coast NOW October 11, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 11, 2016 at 7:42 am #

      Nancy, thank you for being such a strong ally to the Queer Community! Peace, Michael.

  3. thefeatheredsleep October 11, 2016 at 8:28 am #

    I wonder how many will ‘come out’ versus coming out in support? Either way it shall be good. HUGS

  4. Christine Noble October 11, 2016 at 9:16 am #

    Came out twice! It was harrowing each time, but so worth it.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 11, 2016 at 9:30 am #

      Christine, I’m so glad to see you on here! I’m so glad, that while a harrowing experience, it was “worth it.” Much love and peace to you, Michael.

  5. Terry Lewis October 12, 2016 at 1:24 am #

    Wow, I didn’t know it was legal in 29 states to discriminate against the LGBTQ individual. I’m pretty sure here in Australia no discrimination is legally allowed along those lines or for race or gender etc. I must confess I haven’t really checked, but it would surprise me very much if that was the case

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 12, 2016 at 4:04 am #

      Terry, thank you for your comments here. I was very sad to see the amount of resistance in Australia against marriage equality. Is Australia that homophobic?

      • Terry Lewis October 12, 2016 at 5:25 am #

        Not necessarily, though I don’t know the experience of other countries in terms of their resistance or otherwise. Besides, the resistance is mainly from political groups. According to surveys the majority of Aussies want marriage equality, but the governing party, the Liberals, are a conservative bunch and have some key figures who seem hell bent on stopping it.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 12, 2016 at 5:31 am #

        Sounds like both of our countries have a lot of room for improving civil rights for people. Of course, this is a very bad time in history for the United States, sadly!

      • Terry Lewis October 12, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

        Yes of course. When you mentioned active discrimination for some reason I automatically assumed you were talking about job discrimination (ie being legally able to refuse a job to someone gay). On a broader scale of discrimination, unfortunately I’m sure Australia is as bad as anywhere else

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 13, 2016 at 6:49 am #

        At least you don’t have a Donald Trump embarrassing your country.

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