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On National Coming Out Day, the FAIR Education Act and heroes

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By Adam Bink

As we face more stories like Jamey Rodemeyer’s in Western New York, now is more than ever the time to come out and share our stories of coming out.

The FAIR Education Act is not just about history. It’s about role models. Looking up to Billie Jean King, or Walt Whitman, or Harvey Milk and finding out they were lesbian or gay means something to a child, including a potential bully. Imagine if a Peyton Manning came out today, or a NASCAR driver. It would change perceptions in a major way for young sports fans. For me, the law is as much about history as it is about confronting the causes of bullying, and giving young LGBT kids someone to look up to, as it is about history.

That ties in with National Coming Out Day today. The more we can come out, and encourage others and role models to do so, the more we can create a positive environment for kids. And that doesn’t just go for a Peyton Manning — it goes for an uncle, a sister, a cousin, all of us. So today isn’t just a day, it’s an opportunity.

If you have a thought about coming out or a coming out story — whether your own or that of someone close to you — please share!

More from Paul V of Born This Way blog.

29 Comments

  • 1. Ann S.  |  October 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    §

  • 2. Ann S.  |  October 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Oh, no, hugs to you, ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ.

  • 3. Sheryl_Carver  |  October 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Oh, ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ, I am SO sorry!

    I've been dumped, too, & know how much it hurts. Please remember that the pain WILL pass, and you are & will still be a wonderful, amazing man.

    The web is great, but hard to send hugs. Just know that I'd like to.

    With love & caring,
    Sheryl

  • 4. Sheryl, Mormon Mom  |  October 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Adding my condolences. As a dumpee, I understand the pain. It will eventually get better. You will find someone else. Stay strong.

    Sheryl

  • 5. Phillip R  |  October 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Well, I was out'ed to my folks by my younger sister. I honestly believe it was a means to 'discredit' me in our parents eyes. She's always had quite a sibling rivalry and she saw the chance to hopefully take me down a peg. I love my sister very much….we just don't like each other a whole lot.

    Unfortunately for her, my parents were accepting from the get go. So while the chance to do it myself was taken from me, I still feel very lucky.

  • 6. Sagesse  |  October 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Fort Drum soldier talks about what it's like to be gay in the military
    http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story

  • 7. Alan_Eckert  |  October 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Via Warren Throckmorton, I read an article written by John Smid, former director of ex-gay group Love in Action, a longtime Exodus International affiliate. he has since come out as gay and denounced his work with LiA. In the article, he says that he has never met a man that has change his attractions (and he's surely met a lot!). I was about to write a really long response on here, but it was almost 2 pages, so I wrote a blog post instead. It relates to Prop 8 and National Coming Out Day, so feedback would be great please.
    http://iwanttobeagaydad.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/

  • 8. Ronnie  |  October 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Subscribing & sharing……..

    Longtime Gay Activist Frank Kameny Dies: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/10/11/longtimhttp://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/10/1

    Fate is an interesting phenomenon. This month and this day are so important to so many of us for so many different reasons. It is LGBT History Month and today is National Coming Out Day but what has occurred today will solidify this day in history for years to come for today we have lost a Gay Rights pioneer. A man who was not only a part of LGBT history but made LGBT history as well. Frank Kameny, at 86 years of experience, leaves a legacy of a remarkable trailblazing path in the struggle for Freedom & Equality. An astronomer and a World War II veteran, he was one of the first to challenge government institutionalized discrimination and persecution of LGBT people leading protests against the military after being discharged for being gay, becoming the first gay person to file a lawsuit against the government, founding the D.C. chapter of the Mattachine Society, & so much more…… We do indeed stand on the shoulders of giants….. Rest in peace Frank Kameny……

    & now from remembering & honoring the trailblazers of our history who have paved the path for Freedom and Equality to welcoming the new generation of trailblazers shaping the path to the future….. The soldier who has been documenting his coming out process via his youtube channel has just uploaded his newest video journal in honor of National Coming Out Day….. <3…Ronnie:
    [youtube obj5V2We0C0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obj5V2We0C0 youtube]

  • 9. Bryce  |  October 11, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Ok, I'm sorry… this is off topic, but there is something I just don’t understand. So, the Defense/appellants in the Perry case filed an Emergency Motion for a Stay Pending Appeal on September 23, in regards to the order to release the videos (11-17255). This was, itself a motion, which—presumably—is subject to Rule of Federal Appellate Procedure 27 (a) (3) and (4) on the timeline for responding to motions. Per 27 (a) (3) the Plaintiffs/appellees replied 10 days later on October 3.

    Here is what I do not understand. Per 27 (a) (4), Cooper and Co. needed to file a reply to the response 7 days later: Monday October 10. Now, that day was Columbus day, and most of the government got it off. But it looks like there weren’t any filings today either. Did Cooper miss the deadline? Perhaps he didn’t feel a need to respond, but does that then mean that we can officially start to wait for a decision?

    Where do we stand on this? Kathleen?

  • 10. Ann S.  |  October 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I haven't been tracking the deadlines, but if today's the deadline then they have until midnight tonight.

  • 11. Bryce  |  October 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Good point, Ann. I hadn't thought of that. I am very anxious for the briefing to be done so we can begin waiting for a decision. Given that it was an emergency motion, so it went to the emergency motion panel, I get the feeling we won't be waiting to long.

    Anyone up for a betting pool? Ha ha ha.

  • 12. Bryce  |  October 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    I second that! For what it's worth, ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ, I think you are super handsome!

  • 13. Bryce  |  October 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Also, I wanted to let everyone know: I am a PhD student at Georgetown and for National Coming Out Week, the gay and lesbian students are wearing shirts that are blue and simply say "i am."

    I went to go get my shirt, and they are 100% completely gone. This is sad news for me, but good news in general: with all the shirts they produced, and a one per person policy, there is not a shirt left to be found.

  • 14. Sagesse  |  October 12, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Anti-gay proselytizer takes aim at Canada’s hate laws in landmark case
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/anti

  • 15. Sagesse  |  October 12, 2011 at 5:26 am

    No Vindictive Prosecution Defense for Arrested DADT Protester
    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2011/10/no-vind

  • 16. loaferguy  |  October 12, 2011 at 5:40 am

    L.A. group plans to take Prop 8 back to the ballot
    http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory/6194/12/10/20

  • 17. AnonyGrl  |  October 12, 2011 at 6:14 am

    That is happy news (though not for you)!

  • 18. Gregory in SLC  |  October 12, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I never saw the original comment as its been deleted but sending LOVE and good KARMA you way ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ !

  • 19. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  October 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

    That's to bad ;-(
    People's rights should NOT be voted on
    IMHO

  • 20. Fluffyskunk  |  October 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

    As toxic as the man may be, he should have the right to spread his poison if he so chooses. I don't want to be protected from "hate", I'm not so weak that the mere act of hating me can defeat me.

  • 21. Sagesse  |  October 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Technically, he's not attacking you, Fluffyskunk. If he were in the US, he would have every right to do what he's doing. Hate speech is an offense in Canada, not in the US. And problematic to enforce. I will be following with interest what the Supreme Court of Canada has to say.

  • 22. Ann S.  |  October 12, 2011 at 10:05 am

    This is indeed very interesting. I find the differences between US laws and Canadian laws on hate speech to be interesting. I will be very interested to read what the court has to say, too.

  • 23. Sam_Handwich  |  October 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

    If Prop 8 were repealed by ballot initiatve, would that neccesraily render the pending AFER case moot?

  • 24. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 12, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Hopefully not….the AFER case is dealing with the constitutionality of Prop 8 where as a voter initiative could still be overturned by yet another 'vote of the people'.
    In my opinion this will not be over until the courts decide….NOT the people

  • 25. Ann S.  |  October 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

    It's likely it would render it moot.

  • 26. Sheryl_Carver  |  October 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

    And for this reason, I think a ballot initiative at this time is a bad idea. I also realize that folks who want to get married NOW might very well have a different perspective. If I were in that situation, I might also want Prop 8 removed ASAP, regardless of the method.

  • 27. FlexSF  |  October 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Why would California voters repeal gay marriage when it was a real, tangible practice, and then vote to repeal what they've done?

  • 28. Ann S.  |  October 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Dunno, why would they recall Gov. Gray Davis a year after they elected him?

    Oh, yeah, California voters are fickle.

  • 29. FlexSF  |  October 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    According to Carol Corrigan, California Supreme Court Justice, yes. She rhetorically asked this question during the initial challenge to proposition 8 in her court. (I think it was her, but maybe it was Kennard.) Conversely, I heard that she is a lesbian and, coincidentally, she was among the dissenters in the 08' marriage cases.

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