Saturday, October 11, 2008

National Coming Out Day

Happy National Coming Out Day to all!

Gay pride and national coming out day is something that is still necessary, as we fight for equal rights in this country. While some of our opponents label gays as "non-existent," or sexual orientation as a "political identity," those of us who are actually gay know that our sexual orientation is something real and central to our happiness and well-being. Because so much of our personhood is wrapped up in who we love and make families with, equal recognition of our families by the government is only fair and just.

I think most people know this by now, as more people are coming out, and as the rest of the world realizes that gay people are often kind, loving, generous people (like most heterosexual people). Once people can put a face to a label that, for so long, was taboo, that label is no longer so scary.

In the sense that many of us in same-sex relationships are fighting for equal rights, being gay is a political identity. Yet, the very reason we seek equal rights makes it that way. The point of a National Coming Out Day, then, is to make our orientations a non-issue. A non-political-identity, if you will. The very people who critique gays for alleged "political ideologies" and "gay agendas" are the very ones who make such "agendas," if you can call it that, a necessity.

It reminds me of those who oppose gay parenting on the grounds that the children might be made fun of by their peers for having gay parents. Why should innocent gay people be punished for the intolerance of ignorant people?

For, the day we stop having to fight for equal rights, protections, and treatments is the day we will be able to stop using our sexual orientations like a political category and get on with just living our lives with the person who makes us happiest, like our heterosexual brothers and sisters. That is when the anti-gay protestors acknowledge that same-sex relationships are necessary for the happiness and sanctity of other people's lives, and not just a political football to sway ignorant masses, or to make money for a select few "pastors" of "churches." And, definitely not a mechanism to elect corrupt, often adulterous, politicians into office.

I wish everyone well on this beautiful weekend. And don't forget to come out to someone today. Whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or an ally, putting a face to those labels is one of the best things you can do for our fight for equality.


hammerpants said...

well said!

Anonymous said...

Children see their moms and dads as parents whether they are gay or straight yet orphanages can be where these children end up, taken away by some bossy offficial.

As for donorship, inadvertent incest may only be donation away.

Fannie said...

Good post.

When I get time to sit down and think about it more, I plan on writing about that "political identity" argument. Whenever people castigate gay men and lesbians for using their political identity as part of some agenda I am always reminded of this quote from Lawrence v. Texas:

"...[T]here can hardly be more palpable discrimination against a class than making the conduct that defines the class criminal."

Jane Know said...

Hammperpants and Fannie, thanks for your comments. I look forward to a post over at Fannie's Room on the topic.

Edgar said...

Hello. My name is Edgar and I'm an editor at, the debate website. Since we both cover homosexuality, I thought I'd drop you a note. I would've e-mailed you but I couldn't find an address.
See, we're currently having a discussion about whether California should ban same-sex marriage. Prop 8 would do just that. The discussion includes the Pacific Justice Institute, Stonewall Democrats and the American Academy of Pediatrics. See it here:
Although vetted experts are the ones doing the debating, anyone can contribute by choosing a side and posting comments about the experts' arguments.
Check it out and, if you have the time, let me know what you think at

Jane Know said...

Thanks for stopping by, Edgar. I just checked out the website, and enjoyed reading the commentary. Thanks for the info!