Today is National Coming Out Day and the Human Rights Campaign along with GLADD has launched a national campaign to encourage those who are closeted to come out. But more importantly they're encouraging the people on the receivng end to be tolerant and accepting of those who choose to disclose such an important aspect of their lives. HRC has a special guide to coming out for African-Americans with tons of great information on their website along with a video message from President Joe Solmonese. GLAAD has enlisted the help of over 20 celebrities from tv, film, and sports in their "Be an Ally and A Friend" commercials set to begin airing today.
Coming out is often a difficult decision because once you say those two words(I'm gay) out loud you can't take it back. I came out at 16 and it was simultaneously one of the most liberating and the most emotionally draining experiences I've ever had, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. Leading a double life and lying to the people I cared about was never an option for me. No matter what the consequences were I personally knew that my closet was a place for my clothes and not for me to hide. If I acted ashamed of who I was then society would feel validated in their mistreatment of me and others who loved as I did. My advice is to come out in your own time when you know exactly who you are and you'e prepared to deal with the sometimes harsh reality of being out.
There are plenty of resources and people who can help you on your journey. Since I can never get enough of seeing strong black LGBT people who are thriving and making a difference in the community, I decided to create a slideshow of some of the people who are making an impact on our community and the world. This list is by no means official and if I left someone out please accept my apology.
Labels: Coming Out