Coming Out Still Matters
Each year, National Coming Out Day is celebrated on October 11th. This day celebrates coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or an ally. 25 years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the first National Coming Out Day was observed. For additional information, check out their website here!
First and foremost, it is important to me to say that I fully support this movement. I truly believe that people should be able to live their lives however they choose, as long as it is not harmful to others. I support a culture that is diverse and independent because no matter how hard we try, we are not all the same. We should each be free to live our lives in a way that is honest to who we truly are without the fear of persecution. My hope for society is that we can eventually evolve to a place that we can live without being ashamed of who we are and how we feel. While the need for some sort of conformity may be warranted (i.e. laws against murder, robbery, etc.) we should not feel so much pressure to fit a certain mold in order to feel accepted by society. This expectation is why coming out still matters. It's important to be able to be proud of who you are. It may suck that we live in a society where this is still an issue...where being gay isn't just a way of life but something that has to be expressly stated because it strays from the perceived "norm"...but it is and that's why this type of celebration is important. To show people that 1, it's ok to be who you are and 2, to build support structure around the community.
I am fortunate enough to live a life where I typically do not have to hide who I am and I am incredibly grateful for this. I typically identify as Pansexual, where gender really isn't an issue for me whatsoever. I also happen to be Pagan, so there are a lot of "reasons" for society to hate me...and I'm ok with that. However, I know that for every story like mine, there are 10 others where people feel alone and struggle with their sexuality every day. Everyone deserves to feel unconditional love and to have someone to stand beside you no matter what. No matter who you are, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. No matter how scary the world may seem, or how alone you may feel, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. For every bully that harasses you and every person who criticizes you, there is an entire community full of love to stand by your side.
Keep in mind, I'm not some big city woman spouting this message. I grew up in a tiny town (population 300) in mid-Western Nebraska and felt the same way there that I do here. It's ok to be who you are. So to my Uncle, Aunts, Cousins, Friends and so many others who have taught me so much about life and myself...I am proud of who you are and blessed to have you in my life. The world is better because you are here. For every person who has torn you down or made you feel like less of a person because you are "different," I love you a million times more. You are strong, brave, and an inspiration. So on that note, I will quit rambling but please remember...no matter what...YOU ARE NOT ALONE!