Today is National and International Coming Out Day for LGBT people and friends.
Many of us have been sharing our memories of coming out , and the days before
we came out.
I remember when I used to hide the “gay books” because I didn’t want people to
know that I was gay. Then I noticed that my straight friends had the same books,
and they didn’t care what people thought.
At the same time, I remember when I first started doing diversity training that there
were many diversity professionals who did not think LGBT people had a seat at the
diversity table. I didn’t come out to them because I was worried they wouldn’t want
to work with me.
So happy to be free of those fears. I no longer care what anyone thinks. And by
being open many people have told me that they no longer were afraid or had
negative thoughts about LGBT people because they got to know me.
I feel grateful that I no longer have to hide who I am, that I can be open, and
honest,and that my LGBT self-esteem is high. Coming Out is a process of self-
acceptance, letting go of fear, and having faith that we’ll be okay.
We do need to remember that there are still LGBT kids being bullied and
committing suicide, or turning to drugs and alcohol to dull the pain of
homophobia. We also need to stay aware of the fact that LGBT people in some
countries are in danger every day of being beaten, raped, jailed or killed and that
there are people in the US who support those policies and even lend financial support.
We have to acknowledge the fact that transphobia needs to be eliminated and that
it is not only too common in the non-LGBT population but it exists among LGB
people. Everyone needs to learn,
We also have to have hope and the belief that people who really believe in and live
diversity and inclusion will be heard throughout the world and that together we
can stop the bullying and discrimination and bigotry against LGBT people. We have
to stand up, speak out and be loud, and we have to be kind, and loving, and let
people change from haters to supporters after they have the right information.
I’m also grateful that so many organizations realize that LGBT Inclusion is part of
all inclusion and there is always seat at the diversity table.