It's another fabulous October to celebrate LGBTQ history; coming out of those dark, homophobic, and heterosexist closets; and anti-bullying! I am ending our big gay celebration with these two poems, whic were published in Gay City: Volume 2.
As many members of the LGBT community celebrated National Coming Out Day this month, it is important for us to take a moment to remember that not everyone who comes out has the luxury of receiving a safe, let alone accepting, reaction.
I celebrate National Coming Out Day by talking about how you can "come out" even if you've been a declared homosexual for years. Then I offer assistance to those about to come out, and I even emulate their family members' responses.
Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, and I'm taking the opportunity to come out again. But this time I'm coming out as an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants -- at least 267,00 of whom are LGBT.
To come out about one's HIV status can be a risky prospect. We live in a world of stigma and intolerance, and all too often, coming out is met with anger, castigation and possibly even violence. But people still come out. That's what we do. We come out.
I have come to realize what coming out entails and have learned that it is different for each and every person, but one thing that I have observed to be true is that the most important step in one's journey is coming out to oneself.
Coming out is one of the fundamental experiences that ties LGBT together. We also share the stresses caused by the cognitive dissonance required to live a lie. When we refuse to stick up for one another, we deny the reality and lessons of our own experiences.
Typically, part of the experience of being "in the closet" for any length of time is a fear of losing or becoming estranged from family. But it can also involve a fear of not having a family of one's own in the future too. This was one of my biggest concerns growing up gay.
We must not just tell our stories to change the minds of strangers who might do us harm so that one day we'll be safe to walk down our streets; we must keep telling our stories, wholly and completely, to those who love us so that they can hold and support us and sustain us.
Most human beings are closeted in one form or another. We all have secrets, what are euphemistically called "skeletons in the closet." While in the closet, we lead lives, as Thoreau said, "of quiet desperation." I believe that coming out is so powerful because it is a universal desire.
A colleague suggests that we reframe "coming out" as "letting in," as in letting others into our lives. The "letting in" frame allows for agency over what to disclose, to whom and when. If coming out is a confession, then letting in is a communion. We share our life stories, not just our secrets.
On the front porch of my mother's house, coiled on a swing. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. In the spirit of the high holidays, in the spirit of atonement, I confess my predilections to her. These things weren't supposed to happen to her, she says.
In recognition of National Coming Out Day, I joined my mother and father, Jane and Joseph Clementi, in a conversation with LGBT rights activist Mitchell Gold to get to the heart of why coming out matters and how we can support young people as they go through this process.
Reflect on your relationship, your most tender romance. Think of the moment when you realized that you were in love with someone and that person loved you back. Now ponder what it would feel like to be asked to make all that a deathly secret, hide it away and cloak it in shame.