National Coming Out Day!!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Think_Kink, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Yay, what a great day!

    National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues. It is observed on October 11 every year by members of the LGBT communities and their supporters (often referred to as "allies").
    Wiki

    Facebook asked us to change our statuses to reflect ourselves. Mine says Ally, because I am too scared to tell my world I'm a gender confused gay.
     
  2. killerb

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    Interesting...I don't think I've ever heard of this before...

    maybe there should be an official "coming out" thread...:cool:
     
  3. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Let this be it?
     
  4. mindseye

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    Thanks for bringing up the topic, Think_Kink: Having come out myself on a date very close to October 11, I think of this day as a personal anniversary. Here's my story:

    I first came out publicly (though I had known to myself for over a year) in the middle of class, during my freshman year in a small private college in North Carolina in October, 1985.


    I had just arrived to this campus a few weeks earlier. This was a red district in a red state -- in 1985, Ronald Reagan was president, Jesse Helms was senator, North Carolina had even elected a Republican governor for only the second time that century. Guilford College had a reputation for being liberal and tolerant, but at the time, there were no openly gay students or faculty, and certainly no LGBT student organization.


    The class was called "Interdisciplinary Studies", and was a required course for first-year students. The content of the course was a chaotic mishmash of current events, history, and psychobabble about educational theory and learning styles, but I believe the intent of the course was to develop our ability to write persuasive papers and to debate effectively.


    The specific topic that day wasn't LGBT issues: it started out as a discussion of the Fifth Amendment and Miranda Rights, but evolved into a discussion of whether or not there was a right to privacy. One of my classmates, a football player named Brad, defended the right of employers to conduct invasive background checks on applicants, citing as an example that school systems should make sure they don't hire a homo that might molest children.


    I exploded. That's an unfair stereotype, I argued. I started trying to defend LGBT people in the third-person: There's no actual evidence that they're any different than straight people. They...


    ...and the more I spoke, the redder and angrier I got, and I started to stammer. I distinctly remember how my ears and cheeks were burning and how my eyesight started getting darker as if I was staring through a tunnel right at Brad. It wasn't a conscious decision on my part -- at least, I don't think it was -- but out came the word:

    ...we...


    and that word hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity. Part of me was thinking, oh shit, what have I done? and the other part was celebrating, yay, I said it! and I had trouble forcing myself to finish the sentence:

    ...deserve to be treated the same as you.


    As I remember it, the room stood in a stunned silence for several minutes -- but I've heard from someone else in the room that it was actually just a second or two. Then Meg whispered, wow. And finally someone else, perhaps missing the bigger point, chimed in, yeah, you can't automatically jump to the conclusion that they're a child molester just because they're, you know, like that.


    I can't really remember anything else about that class that day; I may have just hyperventilated the rest of the time. But Brad rarely spoke up again after that day, and I never had any other classes with him.


    Two interesting events happened shortly after that: Sean, the upperclassman psychology major who was a TA for the class, came up to me outside of class that afternoon and said, "That was amazing." Today, he's a clinical specialist with the county's mental health and substance abuse program, and one of the LGBT community's biggest supporters. And later that week, when I saw Dr. Bob, the instructor, in his office, he mentioned that his son was gay, and that it meant a lot to him to hear someone stand up against the things Brad was saying.


    In a small college campus, gossip travels fast, and in no time, I became 'famous' on the campus. My world didn't come crashing to an end (my parents took a very long time coming to terms, but that's another story), and the campus didn't grind to a halt. By the next semester, I overheard one of the student tour guides boasting to a group of prospective applicants about how open and diverse the campus is: "...and we even have a gay!"
     
  5. Gl3nn

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    That's a great story mindseye.

    Thank you for being so honoust and open and to share it with us.
     
  6. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    "We even have a gay." Gosh, what a good story. I hope my coming out story to the world is as interesting as yours, but I doubt it will be anything but pure anger. I do wear a Pride band though and will be having a pride rainbow tattoo'd on myself at Christmas. Being gay is a huge hidden part of myself, I suffer in silence, but I wont remain in this closet.

    Thanks for sharing your experience mindseye.
     
  7. red7.5

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    Wow. October 11 is my brother's birthday. He is gay. I am gay. His struggles with coming out have been decades long and continue today. I had never heard of National Coming Out Day. Just emailed this link to him. Thanks Think_Kink
     
  8. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I wish I could talk with him, sounds like he has been in a rough spot for a long time. I wish him well and a happy birthday. :redface:
     
  9. Shawn777

    Shawn777 New Member

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    That's weird to me that some of you haven't heard of it before.

    At USC, we just completed our Coming Out Week. There were rainbow flags hung up all over campus all week, t-shirts given out that said, "Gay? Fine by me," that were gone in five minutes, a free trip to a Los Angeles club, and several well-attended events.

    Furthermore, everyone was encouraged to sign the Outlist which is available online that said that you support LGBT and Ally goals.

    It's pretty cool.
     
  10. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I'm jealous, my school isn't even big enough to have a Pride Centre, even though I asked if we could have one.
     
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