Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Sara says: COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE
It's National Coming Out Day! Here's what the hell that means and check out resources for LGBTQ folks and allies at the bottom of this post!
I am a gay person. I identify as female and Queer. The "Q" typically stands for "Queer/Questioning" on the end of LGBTQ. Queer, to me, is somewhat similar to bisexual but without the gender labels of "I am attracted men and women." I jokingly like to say, "I'll try anything once." I identify strongly with gay culture and fight alongside my people for recognition and equality. I'm not as active an activist as I would like to be, but it's an evolving identity I guess you could say.
I'm a graduate student in the field of Rehabilitation Counseling, a caretaker for my elderly granny, a spouse to my partner (Matt) for nearly a decade, and I'd like to think I'm a decent friend and daughter. I've had to sit in a classroom and listen to people debate why people like me shouldn't be allowed to adopt children. I've watched my civil rights be voted on by a majority that was not a part of my culture. I've witnessed a rash of LGBTQ youth (or assumed) commit suicide in this digital age as if it's never happened before. People assume we still don't get beaten, kicked out of our homes, or disowned by our families. I am fortunate to have been surrounded by my loving mother and unconditionally accepting friends.
Coming out today is a privilege and I intend to exercise it in the hope that the next time someone's thinking "Eh, gay people and children, OMG!" or "Marriage equality will destroy society as we know it" - they'll see my fucking face. They'll put the adjectives smart, compassionate, often awkward, and GAY to my face. And I'm an adult. I have the tools in my toolbox to deal with the barbs, and the ignorance, and the bullshit. It's my job to empower others with those same tools so that the next generation of LGBTQ youth can say "I'm gay" and it's not even a passing concern.
I'm here and I'm QUEER, baby.
Coming Out Resources from the HRC
The Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth in crisis (number is 886-488-7386)
It Gets Better
Dan Savage on how to come out to your Evangelical Family