I’m all for having pride. I love pride month because it’s a lot of fun and everyone shows how truly proud they are to be a member of the homosexual/gay/lesbian/bisexual/queer/trans community. But I can’t support National Coming Out Day.
If you’re unaware, National Coming Out Day is a holiday on Oct. 11 to celebrate when you came out as gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer/etc. It’s celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. I believe National Coming Out Day perpetuates heteronormativity by assuming that in our society you need to come out if you are LGBTQ — that it’s not normal.
If “coming out” needs to be celebrated, then this assumes heteronormativity. If our society is to truly be equal, there should be no stipulation that you need to “come out as gay.” Everyone is equal. If you are attracted to blondes instead of brunettes, you don’t need to announce that to everyone you know. Being gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer is exactly the same.
Another issue with this holiday: “coming out” is not a one-time process. Even after the initial “coming out” to your core friends and family, you have to “come out” every time you meet someone new. You “come out” to your coworkers. You “come out” to new friends you make. It. Never. Ends. Your entire life is small steps of “coming out” over and over. How can you truly choose one particular day that you “came out” to retell on National Coming Out Day?
That being said, be proud of who you are and don’t let me tell you how to celebrate. Coming out is difficult, and it never gets easier. If this holiday means something to you, go ahead and do your thing. One day, the phrase “coming out of the closet” will be irrelevant in our society — and I truly can’t wait for that to happen.
Somewhere Along the Margin is a weekly column discussing issues, events, artists, and musicians that pertain to marginal peoples.