Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reflections on National Coming Out Day

Coming out the closet as a lesbian played a huge role in my life, so I celebrate National Coming Out Day today with a video, links and book except. I wrote about the process in depth in my book Hide and Speak: A Coming Out Guide, which was recently translated into Polish. I reflect on my own coming out process in the short video above. It’s my most popular video, with 2,383 views and counting. I made it for the Human Rights Campaign Fund’s video contest in 2007. This year HRC changed the rules. Only people aged 18 to 25 are allowed to submit videos, the theme is “come out and vote,” and the contest runs all the way to Oct. 20. I do look forward to seeing what the young people say now about coming out. My book Hide and Speak tells positive ways to come out to yourself, create a circle of supporters and deal with family, job and school. Each chapter includes real-life examples and tested, highly effective exercises that I used in coming-out workshops nationwide. Readers will learn how to live proud, free and balanced. I’ll close with an excerpt from Hide and Speak:
“Many people, myself included, assumed that LGBT visibility would make books like this obsolete. That day is still well in the future. The difficulties of coming out in the twenty-first century hit home for me recently when a younger relative finally told me he was gay. His big sister, a lesbian activist, had come out to the family twenty years before, but her example didn’t seem to make it any easier for her brother. “It was something I had to figure out and deal with on my own terms,” he explained to me. The newly visible LGBT community is no more appealing to him than the old stereotypes had been to me and my peers.”

No comments: