National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is not about pressuring people to come out. What NCOD can do is highlight the difficulties that people still face when thinking about coming out. And if that can, in turn, make everyone think a little about how they can help those people not feel so alone, then that's surely a good thing.
When somebody announces "I am..." it is a bold statement. It's not a question and it's not a request. We may not get to declare it while looking stunning on a cover of a magazine, but still it deserves a listen. So open your ears and your heart, and when you open your mouth, do so with an open mind.
My wife Megan and I live our lives out and proud on the internet as a married lesbian couple. However, life was not always this way for me. I came out when I was 15 years old in a very small conservative town in Kentucky. It was one of the hardest things I ever did, but one of the best decisions I ever made.
While middle-class white gays and lesbians picketed the White House wearing suits and skirts, trans women of color threw their heels at police officers and taunted the cops by forming kick-lines and singing raunchy songs. While assimilation-oriented gays pleaded with the queer community for peace in Greenwich Village, enraged queers used parking meters as battering rams to break down the door of the Stonewall Inn and reclaim their safe space from the mob and the police.