Today Is National Coming Out Day

“Woo.”  Followed by a small “hoo.”

Considering I haven’t heard or read much about it in the MSM, I wonder just how effective “National Coming Out Day” is.  And I’m a little trepidatious about the fact that it’s so close to hunting season.  Makes me shiver a bit. 

On the one hand, it’s obviously a good thing to publicize the different struggles of gay men and women who have decided to stop telling that Big Lie and come out.  The difference in quality of life when you’re not carrying that albatross around every day is, to be cliché, like “Night and Day.”  I have never once regretted coming out so many years ago, and even have posted how I viewed my own coming out several times, most recently on this very site (click the link OR the tab at the top–it’s a looooong read).  But, like so many other subjects, we homos have differing opinions on coming out, when it’s appropriate, whether it’s ever appropriate to out other people, etc, etc.  And we’re all very fervent in our opinions, to the point of coming to verbal blows in disagreements on the subject. 

Personally, while I think a national day of recognition that exposes our Coming Out stories and struggles is a good thing with the potential to show the newly self-aware younger homos out there just how varied a people we are, I also have problems with using this day as a forum to nudge people to come out before they are personally ready.  Coming out is an intensely personal experience, and invariably varies from one person to the next.  We all have our own issues to explore, and personal safety is a definite factor that one needs to consider.  (Which is why “the list” that’s going around DC right now scares me quite a bit, and why I have such a big problem with “outing” people before they are personally ready.)  And while it may be easier to come out, for some folks, under the auspices of a “National Coming Out Day,” I think the greatest benefit–if there was actually any publicity about the damned thing–is the exposure of our stories, not necessarily the exposure of unreadied closets.

In checking the web regarding today’s events (or lack thereof), I have to take issue with one statement in particular from PlanetOut’s article, “Survey: 7 of 10 Americans know someone gay” (lack of capitalization is theirs, not mine.)

“If seven out of 10 heterosexuals know someone who is GLBT, then many gays and lesbians are making their identity apparent as a natural part of their lives — just like their age, height, hair color, or personality,” said Mark Shields, director of the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Project.

While I certainly can agree with the sentiment that being gay is only one facet of the jewel that is Me, I have to think that my sexuality has a bit more influence than my hair color.  I mean, I don’t give that any consideration at all.  I don’t worry that I might be bashed because of my hair color.  Unless there’s a “Dirty-Blonde Hit Squad” I didn’t know about.  I wonder if that’s part of the “gay mafia” I keep hearing so much about but see so little of.  Wait.  A.  Minute.  Light bulb just went off. 

Get ready, I’m about to “out” the “gay mafia.” 

They’re all Hair Stylists. 

I knew there was a reason they’re all so frickin’ nosey. 

😉  Happy Coming Out Day

EDIT: After posting this I noticed that the Mark Shields quote is the “Quote of the Day” on 365gay.com.  See, we don’t all think alike.

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2 thoughts on “Today Is National Coming Out Day

  1. how do people in general, adults that is, on coming out day being promoted in our high schools?? Urging children as young as 13 to announce thier sexuality in this forum??? I personaly ,as a parent, am against it and feel that any responsible adult, both gay and straight would see the irreversible damage such a statement could cause a young person. Either because they prematurely “came out” or because they were confused and needing some form of love and support and may not actualy be gay.

  2. That’s more a question of premature sexualization of children rather than an issue with “Coming Out Day”. Certainly I would question any sort of sexualization of kids prior to high school, but from 9th grade on, kids are starting to form notions of peer groups and social dynamics, with part of that being sex.

    Some of those teens will be ready to declare themselves one way or another in regards to their sexual orientation. Those who are should have a safe, supportive environment to do that in. That’s the point and purpose of Coming Out Day, to help establish that sort of an environment.

    Given that such an environment is not a constant assurance, it seems to me that teens ready to declare their sexual orientation and face that risk are going to possess a rather high degree of certainty. Thus, the idea that a “confused” teen would “accidentally” come out seems pretty far fetched.

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