Today we celebrate National Coming Out Day! This is the 31st anniversary for the project which is run by The Human Rights Campaign. Although equality and gay rights have changed greatly over the years there is still room for improvement. There are still countries where being openly gay is a criminal offence. There are still people who turn their noses up at people who are openly gay…yet records in regards to people coming out as LGBTQ+ has hit an all time high in recent years.
There is no right or wrong way of coming out to friends, family and loved ones…you might choose to have a huge get together and tell everyone at once, you could choose to tell people one by one, you could do this quietly or shout it from the roof tops, you could say it casually, slipping it into a day to day conversation, or you can plan out a big speech… however you choose to do it; just know that you are amazing! It is often not an easy thing to do. And I for one, am proud of you.
I find it odd how people who identify as LGBTQ+ have to ‘come out’ when people who are heterosexual do not… why is it the norm to automatically assume that a person is straight? Why do we never question straight people? It should be the norm to talk openly when we meet new people, to never assume that a person is straight or a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Why does it matter what gender a person is attracted to? Nothing about their sexual preferences affects their ability to be a good friend, nor should it affect the bond that they have with their family or loved ones. It does not change who they are as a person. Just because they come out to you does not mean they are a different person, or not who you thought they were… it simply means you now know a little bit more about them and you should be honoured and proud that they chose to open up to you about something that matters to them a great deal!
We should not need LGBTQ+ rights… they are humans just like everyone else! But due to people being so close minded and so judgemental and discriminatory we have had to put new rights and laws in place to protect LGBTQ+ individuals which in my eyes is heartbreaking. Why should someone be treated differently based on who they fall in love with or what gender they identify as? We should all be able to live openly without fear of being judged, fear of being attacked, fear of being abandoned.
I am straight, but I will advocate for LGBTQ+ rights for as long as I live. I am proud of every single one of you, I love you and I will never ever judge you for who you are.