We interrupt our ongoing Icons and gaming-related geekery (which resumes as usual tomorrow) for recognition of National Coming Out Day. In which I come out as:
- Gay (a Kinsey 6 and double-gold-star gay, if you’re curious).
- Polyamorous (I’ve been in a poly triad relationship for 10 years now).
- Pagan (minister and co-founder of a neo-pagan temple; not an orientation issue, but one of religious freedom, which I also believe in strongly).
I’ve already blogged on my favorite “coming out” story and the importance of NCOD and being out, so I won’t repeat myself here. Instead, I’ll just say that the reason why National Coming Out Day is important, and why I keep coming out—in-person, online, and in social media—is because it still matters, and I’ll keep doing it until it doesn’t. When Joss Whedon was asked why he writes such strong female characters, he said, “Because you keep asking me that question.” It’s the same for being out. It matters to everyone until it doesn’t matter to anyone.
We’ve come further with sexual and gender rights in my life than I would have imagined when I first became aware of my own orientation. We still have a long way to go, however, when it’s still legal to discriminate in employment and housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity, when some 40% of homeless youth identify as something other than heterosexual or cis-gendered, when violence against trans-people is on the rise, and when being queer is still a literal death-sentence (or prison-sentence) in many parts of the world.
So “come out, come out, wherever you are,” because visibility matters, you matter, and the willingness to stand up and say, “We’re here and we’re queer” has been one of the greatest forces for change in the modern world.