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4 comments | Wednesday, October 10, 2007

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.



<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Has anyone famous "outed" themselves?

October 11, 2007 2:56 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

qndThis is good. But it can be especially trobling for those young people who want to come out to their parents who may not know the reaction. I have known of a few people whose family booted them out of the house after they came out.

Anybody who wants to come out needs to consider that, especially someone who may not have many options for living situations.

But I think that saying "I'm gay" is hardest for some people to look in the mirror and say to themeselves. I have a few buddies who can't come to grips with it. For years, this one person I know has been calling himself bicurious. Maybe for the first few months you're that. But several years later, I don't see how someone can still be bicurious. So, I think for some people, coming out to themselves will be just as big a challenge as coming out to friends and family.

But it's a great day of solidarity for gays and lesbians, and anybody coming out, I'm there sharing the moment with them. We are all brothers and sisters in the struggle.

October 11, 2007 6:25 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Meh. I think coming out's overrated. But to each...... I think the most important thing is admitting it to yourself and owning that.

I'm gay. But it's also not the thing that you first see when you met me. And I don't want people to think that that my life is all about being a gay man. I've got so many other irons in the fire that being gay isn't that big of a deal to me. It is a big deal to others. There is just something about being an attractive black man who has an education, job, and is financially stable that just makes people flip out. (Which is why I don't have straight male friends) At least where I live. Everybody doesn't live in a gay mecca where they can let their rainbow fly high and people don't bat an eye.

Like Will said, one should really weight what they have going on in their lives before just going all balls out (so to speak) and telling everybody that they are gay.

You have to consider things like...

Am I going to have a place to stay tonight in case my mom kicks me out?
Will I still have a job? If I still have my job, will people now overlook me for advancement simply because I'm gay?

So, make sure your support systems are working. Why not tell one person in your family first and then let them help you break the ice to the family members who you think may have some problems with it.

I don't know... maybe all of this is covered in that little pamphlet and if it is, great. I didn't read it so... but yeah. There is more to it than just telling people in your life you are gay.

October 11, 2007 6:43 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Regarding fuzzy's question about famous folk who are out:


October 11, 2007 7:11 PM


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