National Coming Out Day is October 11, 2022
As the Proud mom of a Proud teen, National Coming Out Day is a day to both celebrate our individuality, and to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues still facing our society. By coming out publicly, we can help to raise awareness for those that are still in the closet, as well as help to fight the societal stigma against the LGBTQ+ community that persists on a social level.
According to Wikipedia,
National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBTawareness day observed on October 11, to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (a.k.a. the LGBT community, sometimes also called the queer community) in "coming out of the closet". First celebrated in the United States in 1988, the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person. The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views especially if they live in developed countries.
By speaking up for ourselves, those of us in the LGBTQ+ community can help to advance the fight for equality both on a national and global level.
Those of us who are already out can advocate for those who are still in the closet out of fear of the stigmatization that they will face. We can all do our part by sharing our stories, and raising our voices so that we can make a global outcry for the rights of everyone.
In some countries around the world, there is still a great deal of oppression that faces the LGBTQ+ community, and we can do our best to help those who are struggling by speaking up.
I have talked before on the blog about my daughter's coming out, so this time I am going to do something a little different, and talk about my own.
I first came out as bisexual when I was in High School, and it was pretty anti-climatic since I only came out with friends and younger relatives, not with my parents.
My parents already didn’t accept me for who I was in general, adding something else for them to judge me about wasn’t something that was ever in the forefront of my mind.
Recently I read a story talking about how our identities change over time, and I think that is true for me as well.
The Evolution of Identity
For most of my life, I identified as bisexual, but a few years ago I found out about the Pansexual label, and claimed it as my own. I had a re-coming-out on Facebook where I posted a picture of the Pansexual flag for all my friends.
Pansexual seemed to fit with me. I do love for hearts and not parts. I see people for their souls, their potential, and all the goodness that they have to offer. I love people for who they are inside, more than who they are outside. That is why the Pansexual label fits for me.
My current relationship is one of the most long-lasting relationships that I have ever been in. We are happy, we talk about everything, and we work well together.
I go through times in my life where I am more focused on my sexuality than others, but it ebbs and flows. I love comfort and predictability. I love getting to know one person better and better and deepening my relationship with them.
Some people are all about new love, new relationships, and all the wild energy that comes with a new love. Not me.
I also have a tendency of falling in love with long-term friends. For me, friendship is the beginning of love. Then it blossoms, deepens and grows.
I am writing now for solidarity with others who are still in the closet, “coming out” again for the internet to help inspire others who are still in the closet to feel safe doing the same.
Being a Supportive Ally
If you have a child, friend or family member who is LGBTQ+, you can focus on being a supportive ally for that person. This means, allowing them to be open with you about their identity, and sharing themself with you openly.
As an ally, it is also important to speak up in support of the LGBTQ+ community. You can do this if someone makes a disparaging remark in front of you. You can also make sure that others use the correct pronouns if someone is trans or non-binary, when referring to that person.
Also, if you feel led to do so, you can participate in community activism in support of the LGBTQ+ community. You can do this by signing petitions on their behalf, posting on social media, or going to community events like the Pride parade in June.
You can also volunteer to be present with your child, friend or family member as they participate in difficult conversations with others, such as coming out with them. This can be helpful so that they will know they have your support, no matter what they may need.
It is important when someone comes out to you, to ask what kind of support they need from you. This way, you are sure to help them best in the way that they need. Everyone's needs will be a little bit different, and may change over time.
I wish you all the best, my friends, on this National Coming Out Day.