National Coming Out Day6 Today is National Coming Out Day. A day that I find myself reflecting on the last year and a half of living as an “out” public figure.
Far away from the public eye, I long contemplated the importance or significance of this fact being available for public knowledge. People accused, asked, wondered and hoped for a long time whether or not I would ever answer the question: Are you gay?
I seriously considered the idea that it really isn’t anyone’s business. I am who I am. I love who I love. What difference does it make whether or not people know? My partner, friends and family, and my faith have been the backbone to affirming in me a sense of pride, responsibility and compassion that I have always sought to reflect. Still, I can say it’s very strange to consider whether or not to issue a press release regarding my sexual orientation. So the pressing question was: What difference does it make?
For me, the difference maker was one of personal integrity. I am gay and that is the truth. I wanted to honor not only myself, but those who know me best. By believing in my own journey enough to claim it, I found that who I am is not written by the pen of others, but how I personally take responsibility for my life. By speaking aloud that I am gay, I soon began to realize the impact of that truth was not only personal, it has been powerful for others as well.
It is always a test of courage and self-worth to share yourself with another person. Perhaps that is why one of the greatest offenses to the human spirit is silencing the voice of another. Today, you may discover a friend, your child, a fellow church member or co-worker identifies as LGBT. Today, you may be asked to “out” yourself when you reveal how you feel about them. What difference does it make to you?
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