13 October 2011

PE: National Coming Out Day

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.


jimf said...

Here's something more realistic (and more cheerful, in a feisty,
robust kind of way) than the idea of "automatic" love and acceptance.

Rachel Maddow on Frank Kameny (you have to endure a 60-second
ad up front. ;-> )


Curious coincidence that he died just a couple of days before
"National Coming-Out Day".

jimf said...

> Gosh... why do I still get upset over this?!
> Why do I let it bother me?

Another reason to be cheerful: this did not, and is never going
to, happen to you. And the guy it did happen to seems to have
survived with his sanity (apparently) intact. Human resilience!


Sebron said...

I don't know why it upsets you, but it upsets me because this is the 21st Century, and this is suppose to be a country that is terribly concerned with equality. In reality however, people are much more concerned with being comfortable in their bigotry and distaste for anyone that is different. It saddens me a great deal to think that people will not be loved by their parents. The only solace I find is that God is Love. This life is only temporary and through knowing Jesus Christ we can all experience a love that simply does not exist in human relationships.

Ethan said...

Gay Mormons are not black sheep, though in the church it feels like that sometimes… okay, just about all the time. Coming out to Mormons you get to know who the real Latter-Day Saints are really fast. Coming out is also helping me to know just how much God loves all his children (not just the straight ones). I feel just as close, if not closer, to Him now then when I was on my mission. You are so strong for staying with the church. I have decided to live as a Mormon (keeping all those Mormon-commandments we know and love except of course, "thou shalt not be gay") but not as a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. I just can’t picture myself as not being a Mormon, I love the life and I love the culture. I am sad to leave the church, but I am comforted knowing its teachings will stay with me forever. I am thankful to the church for all the beautiful things it has given me, but I feel better leaving before anyone gets hurt (namely me).
I live in an area of Washington State with relatively few Mormons, and fewer gay Mormons, so your blog is a breath of fresh air. It is so nice to know you’re not the only one, and there are other people that have survived this. Thanks!

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