By Jim Koury, Editor, Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2011 Diversity Rules Magazine. All rights reserved
National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and for discussion about queer issues. It is observed on October 11 each year by Queer individuals and friends. The day was founded by Dr. Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary in 1988, in celebration of the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights one year earlier, in which 500,000 people marched on Washington, DC for gay and lesbian equality.
Many queer folks let National Coming Out Day pass with promises that the following year they would be among the ranks of the millions of other LGBTQ individuals who took that bold step and broke out of their closets. For some it takes a number of broken promises and many more years of hiding, lying and being someone they are not before they decide to kick the door of their closets wide open.
What is life like being in the closet? The following quote epitomizes the life that many have lead still lead in the closet and is as follows, “the torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital life force leaking away in wasteful self-conflict.” Many live a lie, two lives, which frustrate and anger them to no end. Many feel like they are in prison, not by their own doing but because of a society that dictates to us who we should be and how we should act. So many closeted queers are wasting their lives, their inherent potential, their vital life force, on worry. They hide themselves, tell lies and try to remember to whom they told what. Wasteful self-conflict is what being in the closet is all about. It is not what we are supposed to focus on in life.
So for those in the closet, still living lives of quiet desperation, this article is for you. It’s purpose is to help you find the courage and support you need to be yourselves and to let you know there is hope for you. Never give up your dream of being able to be who you really are, because you can be everything you want to be and more as an openly queer individual.
On National Coming Out Day we must yet again ask why some still dwell on a person’s sexual orientation and insist it is a chosen “lifestyle.” One’s sexual orientation is not a choice. It is as natural as having blue eyes, brown hair, being tall or having a big nose. It is genetic. Our creator made us the way we are for a reason and that reason cannot be discovered if we allow bigots and homophobes to continually tell us that we are sinners, that we are abnormal or need counseling or by the grace of God can be converted to heterosexuality. How many heterosexuals think they made a choice to be who they are? To the bigots and homophobes we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We shall stand up to you at every opportunity. To all queer brethren, “Come out, come out wherever you are” and demand that your individuality be returned to you! Take it back!
Take charge of your destiny! However your destiny cannot unfold before you until you have found your true you. Many are here to help you with your journey forward out of the musty, dank and lifeless closets in which many of you are still living. Make this year’s National Coming Out Day YOUR freedom day; the day you took charge of who you really are and began to outwardly manifest that true persona. Make it the day you cast off your fabricated façade that you have so carefully constructed for so many years. Come out, come out wherever you are! It really isn’t all that bad out here in the sunshine of one’s true li