National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day. Although my friends, family, and coworkers already know I’m a lesbian, I am posting this because too many of my LGBTQ siblings cannot.

Too many LGBTQ young people will consider or attempt suicide because they are bullied at school or kicked out of their homes because of their orientations.

Many of our LGBTQ seniors never came out because it wasn’t safe. Those who did may have to return to the closet when entering a nursing home or seeking hospice care because elder abuse of LGBTQ people is rampant.

My bisexual and transgender siblings face erasure and ostracism from both the gay and straight communities for trying to be true to themselves. (How we can turn our backs on our own is beyond my ken.)

Across the U.S., LGBTQ people of color face higher risks of assault, loss of employment, poor health care, and ostracism if they come out.

Around the world, LGBTQ people face laws that criminalize our lives, with many facing jail time or execution if they’re found out.

I have a privileged position. I have a spouse of 23 years, a home, and a group of loved ones who accept and support me. I can speak my truth with only a little fear, knowing that the risks I face for doing so are minor.

Too many in our community lack my advantages, so I hold this space for them. I speak because they can’t. My past Coming Out Day posts have led to conversations with old high school friends about LBGTQ issues. These posts have led to talks with friends’ teenagers, who wanted more information about LGBTQ issues so they could be better allies at school.

If today’s post helps one person somewhere, then it has done its job. I speak for those who can’t. We’re here. We’re queer. And we won’t be silent anymore.

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