Today is National Coming Out Day 2010.
I am pleased, grateful, and proud to live in a time and country when equal rights for all is not only an issue, but it is often in the forefront of political conversations and agendas. It is exciting to be in the midst of change and to witness so much of it during my lifetime. I was six months old at the time of Stonewall. Since that time, invaluable progress has been made regarding gay rights, and my spouse and I are one of the 18,000 fortunate couples who were allowed to legally marry in California. I love my life. Even when I get lost in the, at times, burdensome details of daily living, I love my life.
It is an honor and a huge gift to have a significant amount of friends in real life and in the online community that love and support me regardless of my sexual orientation, absolutely without judgement. I am forever thankful for them.
I am also thankful for my sibling and parents that love me and accept me, my husband, and our family, just the way the way we are, with open arms, even though their religions may lead them to feel differently.
Peace of mind is mine; I do not need to worry about what someone will say or do if I am out in public with my husband and my family in my own community. I do not live with the fear that somebody might vandalize my home or car, or shout insulting things at me as I walk down the street, or treat my children poorly because of who I am.
It still makes me stop in my tracks to think about how fortunate I am that I am no longer trapped in that cycle of self-loathing and shame. It overjoys me still. Being gay is so much more than just sex. It is a million other things that are such a complicated part of my being, many of which I could likely never explain, or even realize consciously.
Yet. Yet. Yet, I am outraged and ashamed to live in a country where most same-gender couples and families are denied their rights. It is depressing that even now there are people who openly persecute and abuse homosexual people. It is horrifying that gay teens are increasingly committing suicide because society has convinced them that they are unworthy, inferior, and hateful.
But most of all, I am saddened that many religions continue to use their voices to smugly perpetuate and justify discrimination, all in the name of God, knowing full well that their words add fuel to the fires of intolerance among those who have not yet developed the ability to think things out for themselves.