Today is October eleventh and has been designated National Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate the diversity of life and the idea that we are all welcome in the world.
Of course, there are still many, many places in the world, and even here in the good ole USofA, where being open about who and how you love is not a safe thing to do. Far too many.
I have a lot of friends in the LGBTQ+ community who have been bullied, thrown out of their homes, lost their children in custody battles, or worse. We need only look at the numbers of transgender murder victims to know that it isn’t always safe.
I have been noticing just recently how many of the TV shows I watch have incorporated LGBTQ+ characters as “normal” characters. They’re not there to be the victim or the perpetrator, they are actual integral parts of the story. Notable for me of late are Leverage Redemption, who has a young lesbian of color and also has several story lines with gay people involved, Law and Order SVU, who had a young detective who was a lesbian and Law and Order Organized Crime, which has a police sergeant who is a married lesbian.
This is our way forward. We need to be seen as a part of the whole. We need to be visible in ways that extend beyond pride parades.
One day, I hope we no longer need a National Coming Out Day. I hope that we can just be who we are without needing to justify ourselves or protect ourselves from those that would deny us our rights.
In the meantime, I’m Natalie and I am bi/pansexual (I haven’t decided between the terms, but lean toward pan).
And you are loved.