I want to take a moment to recognize that October is LGBTQ+ month in the US1. You may have also heard that this is Cybersecurity month, Breast Cancer Awareness month, and National Work and Family month – and there are in fact many other worthwhile issues celebrated this month. But among others, October is LGBT History Month.
LGBT History Month is distinct from Pride Month (June) and is special for several reasons. One, it’s the month of the first and second LGBT marches (in 1979 and 1987 respectively). And two, it contains National Coming Out Day – today, 10/11.
National Coming Out Day is intended to support and encourage honesty and openness about one’s orientation. I’ve always felt that there should be nothing but joy and celebration in the decision to fully embrace and share your true self. Like, bring on the balloons and streamers – we’ve got someone here who wants to be seen for who they are. I LOVE IT.
But I’m not so naive that I don’t understand that this step is fought with fear and uncertainty. We don’t all have the support and love for our true selves that we would have hoped for or expected.
The gay rights movement has a long history. These rights, as well as the rights of lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, continue to draw discussion, debate, and fear. I’m hopeful that one day this month will celebrate only the history of these challenges and that full rights and support will be bestowed on all the members of these communities. But until that time, happy Coming Out Day to those of you who choose to use it. May your decision to fully embrace and share your true self be met with only joy and support.