Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In honor of National Coming Out Day, I reminded my best friend I was gay.

And in honor of National Coming Out Day, she pretended to be shocked and unsure about whether or not we could remain friends.

In all seriousness, though, I find the idea a little bit silly. Coming Out is this big personal decision, right? And if you do it just because it's an arbitrarily assigned National Day, then that cheapens it. I mean, there's National Donut Day.

I guess all the publicity is good. But then it's bad, too. Because I've come to the somewhat controversial notion that if everyone would stop making such a big angry deal about it, it would be a lot easier to bring about real change. When you're angry and confrontational, the people you're confronting aren't going to like you and aren't going to want to help you out.

What I'm saying is, we need more of this:

Did you see the gay couples?
Did you see how they were all mixed in with the straight couples all willy-nilly?
Like they were all just people?

That's what I'm trying to say.

One of the reasons I didn't come out for a long time what that I saw what coming out did to those few gay people I knew in high school: it made them The Gay One. "You know Matt?" "Who?" "You know, the gay guy." "Oh, yeah, the gay guy."

And there's a lot more to being a person than just being gay or straight. I mean, you don't define someone by their heterosexuality, ever. It's one of the reasons I'm not really involved in PRIDE or whatever they call it on campus these days - I'm turned off by the people - yes, the gay people - who cheerfully make being gay everything their life is about. They only have gay friends, they only go to gay events, they only shop in LGBTQ-friendly stores... if a straight person only has straight friends, you wonder if they're homophobic, but a lot of the gay people I've met (granted, I'm mostly talking about college-age kids here, and there's a lot of maturing that happens) would resent the accusation that they're heterophobic.

So, yay for telling people it's okay to be gay.

Because it is.

But it should be just as ok as being straight. Not more, not less, just the same.

1 comment:

  1. If I promised to vote for you at least twice (once for each term), would you run for president when you turn 35?

    Thank you.