On National Coming Out Day, a sex blogger reveals her identity, a student tells his story, and others remember those who didn't make it.
I made the momentous decision to embrace my "Be open and honest" policy as I never have before by coming out in celebration of National Coming Out Day.
To me, Coming Out is declaring to the world who you really are and owning the things most important to you — your sexuality, your passion, your orientation, your lifestyle, your mission. These are often things we cannot share with those closest to us — our co-workers, spouses, parents, children.
"My name is Kendra Holliday," she adds, "and I am The Beautiful Kind." Holliday writes that she hopes her decision "will inspire and encourage others to be more understanding and compassionate as we embrace an enlightening sexual renaissance." Writing in The Stanford Daily, student Christopher Bautista also sees coming out as a way to help others. He writes,
As a transman, I have the blessing of "passing" -meaning, if I wanted to, I could blend into the general population, and no one would know how I was born. [...] But we are at a moment of crisis. This isn't the time to live a normal life. Maybe I could settle down later, but not now. In a world where LGB youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers and where almost half of trans youth have seriously contemplated suicide, this is not a world where I can hide behind a short haircut and a male name. This is a world where something needs to be done, and it needs to be done now.
As Bautista notes, this year's Coming Out Day is not necessarily a happy one. It comes on the heels of a series of suicides by LGBT youth, most famously that of Rutgers spying victim Tyler Clementi. A Ft. Lauderdale cathedral will hold a vigil tonight to remember the teens. The cathedral's director of justice and media ministries, Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin, tells the Lehigh Acres Citizen that LGBT youth "feel like they're the only one, and if it's found that they are gay or lesbian or even questioning their sexuality, it can be outside what other kids are used to and it's difficult for them."
Part of the point of National Coming Out Day is to show kids they're not the only ones. Bautista and Holliday (who identifies as bisexual) are doing that just by being open about their identities. Unfortunately, coming out isn't safe or feasible for everyone. But Bautista urges all his fellow students — whether they identify as LGBT or not — to help create a world where it is. He writes, "Hold a sign. Start a conversation. Be out for someone who can't be out for themselves yet. Sometimes that makes all the difference."
I Am The Beautiful Kind [The Beautiful Kind]
The Transitive Property: Coming Out: It's Not Just For LGBT People [Stanford Daily]
Florida Vigil Will Focus On Teen Suicides And Bullying [Lehigh Acres Citizen]