Today is National Coming Out Day. It's a day for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered to be open about who they are, and for heteros like me to open up and discuss issues that impact the GLTB community. I have begun an informal tradition here of posting on National Coming Out Day. I do this to honor and salute my friends -- those intelligent, funny, fun, decent people who add so much to my life -- who happen to be GLTB.
I'm a straight white woman who grew up in a middle-class family. I can never truly know what it's like to be GLTB in this world.
But I do know what it's like to feel fundamentally different from your parents, to feel that there is a major disconnect between what your parents think and believe, and what you think and believe. I know what it's like to have to close off a part of your life from your parents because they just can't handle it, I know what it's like to have conversational minefields with your family that you're constantly stepping around, and I know what it's like to know that if your mother knew some of your secrets, it would break her heart. That still doesn't mean I know what it's like to be GLTB in our society, but I do have a teeny inkling of some of what my GLTB friends must feel at times.
So today I salute you, my dear friends who add so much to my life, who make me laugh and who make me think. I honor your courage and your spirit in the face of ignorance and judgment and cruelty. I love you and I hope I live to see the day when you can love who you want and be who you are without fear or repercussion.