Coming Out as a Form of Activism

October 11th is National Coming Out Day.

keithharing

Art by Keith Haring

It was founded in 1988 as a way to raise LGBT awareness to combat homophobia (and other forms of hate related to one’s sexual orientation and identification.) It is not a forced outing but a decision on the individual’s part to do so- as it always should be.

I like to share my post blog- Sorry, Ladies– as my coming out story but the first time I ever told someone was probably eight years ago when I was still living in Las Vegas. My best friend was driving me home and, as I was leaving her car, I said, “Thanks for hanging out with me. By the way, I’m gay. OK, see you next time.” Luckily, she didn’t let me off the hook so easily and we talked some more.

LGBT history is so dark with having to hide being who you are and who you love.

You put your life in danger by putting yourself out there.

Visibility is so important. It can give others the much needed strength, courage, or inspiration to come out.

Being oneself is such a worthy objective.

The best way to encourage coming out is to create a safe and accepting environment through words and action.

Coming out is sometimes easier said than done because people’s attitudes and reactions are unpredictable. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by understanding and accepting people. If I knew that was the outcome I was going to get, I would have been more understanding and accepting of myself.

Resources:

National:
GLAAD
Human Rights Campaign
It Gets Better
The Trevor Project

Portland/Oregon:
Basic Rights Oregon
Q Center

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