Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's National Coming Out Day!

Pam Spaulding has a nice wrap-up, complete with videos. I liked the Clay Aiken interview on Good Morning America.

Pam writes:
For my straight readers:
-- are you “out” as an ally?
-- are you able to talk about gay friends or relatives with others?
-- are you comfortable shooting down homophobes when they spout off during a conversation?

My answers are:
-- Yes.
-- Yes.
-- Hell, yes! I do not shy away from blunt rebuttals. "Be quiet and don't make waves" doesn't suit me.

If you're gay or lesbian, I hope you're in an environment that makes it comfortable and safe for you to be exactly who you are. Alas, the patchwork of marriage laws in the U.S. deprive many of you of the rights straight folks often take for granted. But my wish for you is to someday be completely "out" with your sexuality in the way that straight people have always been—just a matter-of-fact spot on the spectrum of human existence, nothing for anyone to get riled up about.

If you're straight, I encourage you to challenge people when they say anything ignorant, wrong, or disdainful about homosexuality. You might not change their mind, but maybe they'll think twice about spouting off next time and the world will be one notch better.

9 comments:

Jay said...

My answers are yes, yes and I sure do try but I think I can do better.

Feral Mom said...

This is especially important if you work with kids and teenagers. Even if you work in a conservative school or library, there are ways to be an ally to kids coming out by a)being deliberately non-heterosexist in your language and b)making it clear that you're available for non-judgmental conversations.

Great post, Orange!

Belle said...

Yes. Yes and hell yes!

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, and I wish I had some better snappy comebacks for those darned homophobes. Any good suggestions?

Jessie

Klynn said...

I have gay friends, who I think are terrific people. I've brought this up in conversations that were tending toward homophobia, and essentially said that "hey, they're my friends". But I have to say that in a hostile homophobe environment (very common in the deep south), I tend to just try to quietly extricate myself from the situation. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, and you have to pick and choose your battles. I just hope that more people choose to fight the battle (for gay rights) in the voting booths, so we can legislate the haters right out of existence.

Sara said...

Orange,
Don't know if you remember State Senator Allan Spear from your days in MN -- one of the very first openly gay legislators in the country. Sadly, he died this weekend, far too soon. But it's prompted a lot of positive media coverage here in the Cities in conjunction with Coming Out Day.

Becky..AMHW said...

I'm originally from Utah dontcha know...and you wouldn't believe the bruhaha going on over the church and proposition 8 in California.

So many letters to the editor in the papers about it...from parents of gay children and parents of non gay children and other parents and bigots and fundies and the faithful.

I almost feel like wearing a tshirt that proclaims, "I support gay marriage by wearing a banana hammock" the next time I go visit.

Mignon said...

Jim and I were having a conversation last night about whether our local weather guy (openly gay, but very femme) was a top or bottom. Jim told me a friend of my SIL's is a bottom. Huh, I thought. Why do we know this? He said the guy had told a mutual friend, who told my SIL, who told my BIL who told my husband, and I realized he and his personal life were just a novelty to all these people. Something to laugh and joke about. And that pissed me off. I told Jim exactly that, and he agreed completely, and we agreed to be conscious of that. And that was my Coming Out Day deed.

thenutfantastic said...

Hells yes to all 3! We have gay aides (I work for a home health agency) come in and I have some co-workers who are very homophobic. Since I have to work with them, I keep my mouth shut until it gets over the line. But for the most part, oh yeah, I do not shy away from speaking my mind.

Peanut and I have even had these conversations already and when we talked about sex, I included all sex not just the heteronormative version.