I really loved National Coming Out Day. I loved seeing posts about hope and courage and convictions. I think it is so important for people to know that there are those that support them and are fighting for equality. I came out on facebook by saying that I am an a relationship with a person named Sean. I was already out to everyone close to me... but for me, putting it on facebook is kind of a big deal, and this is the reason:
Prejudices threaten ones ability to succeed. It is far less common for a person in a minority group to really have the same opportunities as one of the majority. So coming out on facebook is basically saying, "I am not afraid. I will not allow your prejudice to hinder my progression. I will no longer hide a vital part of who I am for your comfort and convenience."
So now old bosses, professors, friends and acquaintances, colleagues... they all know. My network of people is aware. It may cut some ties or limit the benefits I may have received from connections otherwise... but I don't care. I do not need the help of people who will judge me and treat me differently because of who I love.
I have to add that the celebration also brought some sadness. Seeing the reaction of others. "Why do you have to tell everyone. I don't care, but don't flaunt it!" These types of comments in the midst of all the Mormons doing the same thing, "I'm Mormon and I'm Christian!" This is in response to the recent media attention the church has been getting over claims that Mormons aren't Christian. So then these "Christians" share and forward and "like" statements that reaffirm how Christian they are while the same people ignore statements about supporting equality for all people. It is so backwards. In some ways I feel like the division between Mormons and myself is growing wider and wider.
It's funny. I remember all these stories about "leaving the 99 to find the 1" but I must have missed the one about how all the white sheep drive the black ones away. Gosh... why do I still get upset over this?! Why do I let it bother me? I love the people I have met. All the other "black sheep." And I'd rather spend my time with them anyway.