Anyway, it is National Coming Out Day, so you should come out of the closet. Even if you’re already out, do it again!
In all seriousness, I have been out for twelve years, and honestly can’t imagine life otherwise, even though I lived it as an adolescent. While everyone’s situations are different, on balance, being out brings the peace of mind that comes with living with integrity. I have often joked that I am so far out of the closet that even I forget that I’m gay, or rather that there is anything different about being gay. New friends don’t find out I’m gay because I tell them. They find out when, in the middle of a conversation, I get distracted by a passing group of male runners, or something along those lines.
I can’t remember the last time I played the Pronoun Game with anyone. I’m lucky, in a way, because my work is sort of inherently gay-affirming. I highly doubt Wayne would have a problem if he found out I was gay. But shhhh, I want it to be a surprise! The point, though, is that, at whatever level people are comfortable with, however people feel safe, out is simply better.
If you’re not gay, today would be a good day to be clear, wherever you are, that you support and love and are willing to be a safe space for the LGBT people in your life.
Pictured above is the Official Flag of Gayness, which I often forget about. I’m just not very rainbow-y. But if I am remembering my gay symbology correctly, it represents the idea that we truly come from everywhere, from all walks of life, all families and there is no homogenous way to be a gay person, or something along those lines. And the truth of the matter is that a large part of winning the fight for equality is simply to come out, because the more people there are who know gay people, the more people there are who know that the Religious Right has been lying all these years about us, and in turn, they support us.
Don’t feel pressured if you’re not ready. But if you’re on the verge and need a little nudge, today’s a good time, as there are millions standing with you.