Because I am, because of those who came bravely before me, because I found support from family and friends, because of those who will follow me, because silence still equals death, because love is love, because there are still so many others to fight with and for, because queer & trans rights are civil rights are human rights, because I want them to know, I celebrate coming out whenever I can.
Nancy is a role model for me of activism, bravery, authenticity—a willingness to fiercely be herself. Maybe you can glimpse that in her few words here.
Now that I realized that October 11 is National Coming Out Day, I looked it up on Wikipedia, where it says this about the origin of the holiday:
The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Coming_Out_Day)
The idea of “coming out” is deeply human. All of us need to find the courage to be truly who we are, or we will live lives that are incomplete and unfulfilling. As a straight man, I don’t want to usurp the power of the LGBTQ community, but “coming out” has meaning for me too. In a world dominated by traditional toxic expressions of masculinity, I have struggled to claim my alternate form of masculinity: I’m a man whose primary characteristics are gentleness, love, and compassion. It is a risk for me to “come out” and proclaim these things about myself—but it is a greater risk to hide my authentic self.
Mother-father god, divine spirit of life and love within each one of us, hear this prayer:
May I be diligent and fearless in creating a world where it is safe for everyone to come out. To come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual; to come out as butch, femme, masculine, feminine, non-binary.
May we work together to create this world of safety. May each of us be courageous and authentic enough to come out in all of our beauty and power and individuality, affirming to one another that each of us is precious and good and whole just as we are.
May our communities of love, acceptance, and safety be stronger than the voices of hate and shame, and may the strength of our love and healing flow outward in every direction.
October 16, 2019