Tomorrow is National Coming Out Day. You may hear news from people you know, or you may hear nothing at all. Either way, this day was conceived as a way for LGBTQ people to celebrate coming out and help raise awareness of the LGBTQ community and civil rights. In my state of Minnesota this November, people are being asked to vote on an amendment that will write discrimination against LGBTQ Minnesotans into our state constitution if passed. If you live in Minnesota or know anyone who does, have a conversation with them and ask them to vote NO.
It wasn’t that many months ago that I finally, officially checked the box marked bisexual on a demographic form in my own community. A few close friends and my husband knew, but I had never officially identified myself as bisexual until that day. It was very empowering. In fact, I was giddy as we left that community building event. My husband looked at me with such pride on his face that I was able to finally “say” that. Then in May, I came out to a coworker when I she asked me about my writing. Turns out she’s bisexual too, and I would’ve never known that if I hadn’t taken a chance.
I am fully cognizant that my being a bisexual woman married to a man is nothing in the grand scheme of things. No one looks at me with my family and discriminates against me. I’m one of those hidden people because I fell in love with a man rather than a woman, but I know that it could’ve turned out very differently, especially if I would’ve had the guts to kiss my college roommate rather than turning away from her.
My experience is nothing compared to many in the LGBTQ community, but that doesn’t make me want to avoid waving a flag and telling the world that inequality is not right. Maybe my being bisexual is a little less scary to homophobes. I’m not sure. But if I can get even one or two people to talk about human equality and reconsider their view points because I was brave enough to come out and speak up, then I’ll be happy.
I have a few requests. Come out when you are ready. Support those that come out. Help those who have come out and have been turned away from their support systems. Be good citizens.