Friday, October 21, 2011

Coming Out Month: "Why Come Out"

On the subject of why gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people should come out, Steven Petrow in Steven Petrow's Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners For Every Occasion has the following to say:

As you contemplate coming out to the straight people in your life, you may wonder why it's necessary.  It's true that remaining in the closet is always an option: in previous generations many kept their sexuality private, and transgender people still often navigate a mixture of public and private identities.  However, the stress and toll of maintaining a secret life can be challenging, even damaging.

Coming out, on the other hand, makes you visible to other LGBT people who can connect you with new friends and a new community.  They can offer you moral support for this important step, plus avenues for finding work, leisure activities, and lovers.  

Additionally, each time someone comes out, he opens the minds of his loved ones by setting a positive example of an LGBT person they now know.  You can also serve as a role model--a resource--to others on their coming-out journeys.

I would also add that when people's minds are opened, and they no longer fear something they know nothing about, social attitudes change, too.  That, I believe, is how circumstances have improved for us over the years and decades, and how they will continue to improve.  The more people who come out, the more minds are opened, and the more positive change happens.      

(Quote is from p. 8.)

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