Tag Archives: National Coming Out Day

October 11 - National Coming Out Day: Learn It's History Because Together We Are POWERFUL!

October 11 – Today is National Coming Out Day: Learn It’s History

National Coming Out Day was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, an openly-gay political leader from Los Angeles and then head of the National Gay Rights Advocates. October 11th. was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights where over half a million LGBT’s and our straight allies participated in.  It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations.

NCOD’s first headquarters was located in the West Hollywood, California offices of the National Gay Rights Advocates. 18 states participated in the first NCOD, which was covered in the national media. In its second year, the headquarters moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and participation grew to 21 states. After a media push in 1990, NCOD was observed in all 50 states and seven other countries.

The goal of the day is for gay, lesbians, bi,  and trans people and their allies to celebrate coming out and encourage those who haven’t to make their voices heard.

The late great Harvey Milk firmly believed that the only way for us to break down  homophobia–“the last major dam of prejudice in this country”– and to gain our equality was for us the LGBT community, and our straight allies to make themselves ourselves visible: to step out of the closet, and  into the consciousness of the nation.  Unless an  individual makes the conscious decision to overtly express who they are we remain a member of an invisible uncounted minority.  Harvey argued that this invisibility only fosters homophobic stereotypes, fear, ignorance and hatred.

He was right.

Every gay person must come out, As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell your neighbors. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. And once they realize that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all. And once you do, you will feel so much better.” – Harvey Milk

When You’re Ready To Come Out, We’ll Hand You The Match

gay match

Today is National Coming Out Day which serves the purpose of showing support to those looking to finally come out of the closet and fully celebrate who they are. It’s a day where we remember the feeling of relief we experienced when we finally found the strength to stand up for ourselves no matter how difficult the journey became. It also provides you with an opportunity to see what happens after you come out and what you have to gain by accepting how you are. Because once you burn that metaphorical closet many changes take place in your world and within yourself.

But I want to speak more candidly on some of the things you may experience once you come out. So often when we discuss Coming Out Day we only focus on that moment we declare our sexuality to the world that we give so little attention to the things you may witness afterward. This will be an immense time of rediscovery because even though you retain so much of the person you will learn so much about who you are and how you interact with the world around you.

So the journey does not end of coming out of the closet. There will be much for you to discover about yourself when you announce to the world that you are LGBT. No matter how much you’ve observed of others like you it will not be the same. This is your experience and you will not always feel that things turn out as you had envisioned. At times it may feel completely overwhelming because you are constantly learning what the rules are for you more than any other time in your life. It will not always be easy and there are no guarantees that it’ll always turn out the way you planned. You may have family and friends that abandon you. Hate and disown you.

Some of them may actively work against your best interests and your rights as a citizen of our country. You may still be fired at your job for being LGBT. You may come up against discrimination and bullying you because those around you have not accepted that you have the right to not hide that you really are anymore. You may feel so overwhelmed by the transition taking place in all areas of your life. You may begin to question how normal your life can be as openly LGBT.

You may question the beliefs you had about this community that can sometimes appear too vain and uncaring. You may have experiences that are much to be desired with other members of this community when you discover that the same prejudices about race and ethnicity are still active forms of oppression with other members. Some will hold the same prejudices and hate about your looks and determine you’re too feminine or too masculine. They may even declare because of your preferred sexual role somehow depreciates your value because they are obsessed with status rather than substance. So you will come to realize that some of the misogyny and homophobia and racism still affects members of this community.

But the reward of being able to take a sigh of relief and no longer feel like you’re living a lie is worth it. You’ll come to find an even greater appreciation for the people who not only love and accept you but who also encourage you to explore who you are and how being LGBT is a part of who you are. You’ll find strength inside that you did not know existed giving you confidence to face other obstacles in your life more prepared. It will not always be as rose colored as you had hoped it would be but you will have opportunities to truly seek out the happiness in life you deserve. Make no mistake that even though there are members of this community that hold prejudices against you for trivial matters there are still people who will include you and welcome you no matter what.

Some will say that it is your responsibility after coming out that you should become an activist and you would do well to swiftly tell those people to kiss your ass and go straight to hell. You don’t owe that part of yourself to anyone and don’t ever let someone tell you otherwise. This is your journey. Your story. Your life. Would it be great if you added to the cause and actively contributed to help ending prejudices and discrimination against us? Yes it would be most welcome. Hate still exists towards us. You certainly should be aware of what’s going on in our world and how we are still denied rights and freedoms. But to me, living your life openly is being an activist because it shows despite the challenges we face we will not allow the archaic beliefs of our society stop us from finding our happiness in this world.

See the thing is when people come off with that ass backward logic are always the most hypocritical. They’ll laud about being a part of the solution while they themselves are part of the problem. It’s because they always feel entitled towards anyone that can serve their own initiatives which are always leaning more to their benefit than the welfare of all of us. They only focus on the G, with little mention of L, then laugh at the thought of B and completely forget T. This community can appear fragmented and hierarchical. The same rules of privilege apply to race and the complexities of being of more than one minority group that’s disparaged is too much of an effort for them to really care about.

But again do not be dismayed by the actions of those who seem superficial who only seemed to be focused on their own objectives. Seek out members that have your best interest at heart. Because the further you go the more you will discover that the stereotypes placed on this community are exaggerations of the truth. You will decide for yourself what defines you. And in m9ments when you feel lost and afraid of what comes next there are people out there willing to walk with you every step of the way. There are people out there who are willing to guide you while allowing you to make the best decisions for yourself without burdening you to their own agenda.

There is a support system here for you when you don’t feel strong enough to embrace who you are. There are people that will stay up all night with you and discuss how much your life has changed because we’ve all been where you are right now. There are people that will tirelessly work with you to find you shelter if your loved ones turn their back on you. There are people that will stand up for you if you’re discriminated against at work or bullied. People are here working to make sure you are safe. But only when you’re ready. So once you are ready to burn down that closet and walk into the world the same people who are ready and willing to hand you the match and walk with you along the way.

 

 

Radio DJ Aaron Rogers Comes Out As Gay On NCOD Live On Air – VIDEO

Aaron Rogers, a radio DJ and Online Content Director at  WZEE (Z104) in Madison WI took National Coming  Out Day to heart, and told his listeners  yesterday that he would now be living his life as an openly gay man.

Said Rogers to his listeners:

“For anyone listening right now, know that you are not alone and that it’s  okay to feel the way that you do. Life is very short. Know that  you are  loved, appreciated, and respected by more people than you realize. It really  does get better, and you have my support always.”

Well said Aaaron. You a proud and wonderful guy and we are glad to have you with us.

Playing The Pronoun Game: A Gay Man”s Defense Mechanism

In celebration of International Coming Out Day, I wanted to talk about the transition of coming out. The things we do, whether consciously or subconsciously before we fully own our sexuality. And the one thing in particular that is done by most gay men is playing The Pronoun Game”. You’ve done it before even if you aren’t too familiar with the term. It’s when you use them/their/they instead of placing a gender like he/she/his/her during a conversation.

For instance, say you aren’t completely out yet, you’re gay, and someone asks you what kind of woman are you attracted to and your response is along the lines THEY have to have a wonderful personality, humor, and spontaneity “ . They go on to ask you to be more specific and a bit more lowbrow because now someone wants to know what about her looks (this is where it gets tricky) and you have to make a statement like “as long as THEY have a nice firm ass, big chest, and great arms then that would be great”. See how it’s interchangeable? I recall that I’ve did this A LOT before coming out (both times…it’s a long story).

For example, I was once in a dating show auction for charity in undergrad and the format was that you were asked 20 questions, of any variety related to the opposite sex before the ladies placed their bids. I had to dodge questions left and right like “what do you do to please a woman” or “what’s your favorite parts on a woman”. I was so embarrassed at the time. Now that I think about it, the questions were way too inappropriate for undergrad, but we were all adults so I digress.

Anyway, I was completely overwhelmed. Oh and the end of the 30 questions and by far the  best one of the night was when I was asked “what does a woman do to you that pleases you?” And I almost blurted out Help Find ME A MAN  but I stuttered and and said find…the key to my heart ( I know, really mushy). So during the time, I did it to keep up appearances as the guy I was dating that frequently visited our dorm wasn’t out yet. And I wasn’t fully comfortable yet, even though my closest friends knew, so to make it easier on both of us I excelled at using pronouns to mask my sexuality.

So we do it for a number of reasons, because the concept of The Pronoun Game, in and of itself, is a defense mechanism. It’s purpose is to protect us for various reasons. It’s there because we’re not comfortable yet letting other people know. Or we haven’t told everyone and the person asking you questions is that busybody in your group of friends that can’t keep a secret ever. We also do it because we want to be authentic to an extent while not having to  lie about our sexuality. But sometimes it’s more than that. It could be because of fear, like your parents/loved ones disowning you or you just haven’t come out and dealt with the varying emotions of being gay.  and it is okay. We come out on our time

A couple of years ago a retired second lieutenant of the US Army told his story about how before  DADT (Don’t Ask, Don”t Tell) was removed from military regulation that he used the Pronoun Game so that he could keep his job:

At work, I continued to keep my secret. I played what I called the ‘pronoun game’, substituting the pronoun ‘he’ with ‘she’ whenever I discussed my relationship. I found excuses to avoid situations that would require me to be in a setting with military couples. The military prides itself on its commitment to its families. Ironically, I could not include my family because it could have ended our careers.

Whether it’s fear or confusion, and you’re are currently playing The Pronoun Game because you have yet to come out, know that first and foremost, you are not alone. That though your individual experiences are unique, that collectively the LGBT community understand the process and the gambit of emotions that you face everyday. Coming Out Day is not to force you out, but to show that you have support waiting for you when YOU decide to come out. And when you’re ready, we’re here waiting for you so that you know that you are accepted and that you are loved.

Google+ Hangouts Hosts The It Gets Better Project’s NCOD Live Event Featuring Dan Savage and Ben Cohen

In observance of National Coming Out Day the It Gets Better project will be hosting a Google+ hangout series video chat which will will feature It Gets Better Project Co-Founder Dan Savage; StandUp Foundation’s Chairman Ben Cohen, MBE; and writer/activist Janet Mock as well as other who will be answering submitted questions about LGBT issues and coming out!

The hangout will be LIVE at the It Gets Better YouTube channel, now associated with TakePart TV and will be accessible via http://www.itgetsbetter.org/hangout at 5:00 PM on October 11th.  National Coming Out Day

  • Hangout with Dan Savage: Q&A joined by members of the Ali Forney Center.
  • Hangout about being Out at School with LGBT youth activists and Campus Pride.
  • Hangout with Transgender Leaders moderated by Janet Mock.
  • Hangout about Sports with StandUp Foundation’s Chairman Ben Cohen, MBE and moderated by Cyd Zeigler from Outsports with LGBT athletes.

For futher information on the event and how to submit questions chack out the It Gets Better website.

National Coming Out Day FREE E-Book Download! – “OMG: How I Created the Universe, Adam, and Steve”

“It is often said—and even more often screamed at anti-gay marriage rallies outside the statehouse in Lansing—that I created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Wrong. Now I will tell the store of the first man, Adam; and of the companion I fashioned for him, Steve; and of the great closeting that befell their relationship.”

In honor of National Coming Out Day, God and Simon & Schuster are co-releasing OMG: How I Created the Universe, Adam, and Steve, a free e-book with the first five chapters on the Creation of Adam and Steve excerpted from God’s forthcoming memoir, THE LAST TESTAMENT which will be released on 11/01/11

THE LAST TESTAMENT is the ultimate celebrity memoir, and the Lord our God, King of the Universe is ready to telleth-all (with the help of former executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, David Javerbaum, who recently wrote Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number for the 2011 Tony Awards, “Broadway: It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore!”

So to honor the day and Adam and Steve’s OFFICIAL Coming Out and head on over to the sites listed below for your free downloads!

AND YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW GOD’S TWEETS AS WELL AT @TheTweetOfGod

AMAZON.COMhttp://www.amazon.com/OMG-ebook/dp/B005T837WG/ref%3dsr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1318337425&sr=8-3#1

Barnes & Nobleshttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/omg-god/1106367601?ean=9781451673975&itm=1&usri=omg#1

iBookstorehttp://itunes.apple.com/us/book/omg/id470682892?mt=11

National Coming Out Day: A Statement That Rings As True Today As In 1978

I want to recruit you for the fight to preserve democracy from the John Briggs and Anita Bryants who are trying to constitutionalize bigotry…

 I ask my gay sisters and brothers to make the commitment to fight. For themselves, for their freedom, for their country…Gay people, we will not win our rights by staying silently in our closets…We are coming out. We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out. Harvey Milk * San Francisco Gay Pride Parade of 1978