National Coming Out day began in 1988 on the anniversary of 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. In the more than two decades since the first Day O’ Coming Out, the victories for equality have been small – the first gay characters and kiss on TV – and large – ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, California banning “ex-gay” therapy.
Too many victories remain. And the real celebration waits until the entire rite of “coming out” becomes passé and all individuals are respected, regardless of their sexuality.
That said, it’s crucial that we look at what’s at stake in this election for those who care about true equality. For that, I have to quote from The Advocate’s unprecedented endorsement of the president, “In Obama We Trust:”
Never has the substantial progress in equal rights and treatment of LGBT people been more at risk than in this presidential contest. This election presents a choice between starkly opposing futures.
Barack Obama is a leader of undeniable accomplishment, vision, and integrity on LGBT rights. His opponent Mitt Romney betrays equality on numerous issues and aligns himself with a faction of the Republican Party that does not include equality among its declared ideals.
Happy National Coming Out Day. And, if you’ve come out or are still waiting, I’m sorry you it still requires such an act of bravery just to be who you are.
[Image by Anne Savage.]