National Coming Out Day

October 11th, 2010

Today is National Coming Out Day, not to be confused with Columbus, or “National Coming Over” Day.

I’ve generally made it clear that Miss Conduct is a gay ally. But I haven’t ever come straight out and said it. So today, I am coming out as an unapologetic ally. I am in favor of gay rights and gay marriage and the full equality of gay folk everywhere. And I’m sorry if, at any point, I’ve let my commitment to diversity and politeness ever mask the strength of that conviction.

Because I think it has. I’ve tried to respect other people’s discomfort around gay rights. But I can’t bring myself to get very concerned about that these days. Here’s the bottom line: I can’t respect any beliefs other than that of the full dignity and worth of gay people and their relationships. If you don’t believe in that, I can still respect your character, your sense of humor, your honesty, your generosity, whatever. But I am finished with trying to pretend as though the belief that homosexuality is wrong, or that gay people shouldn’t have full legal rights, is a different but reasonable perspective. It isn’t.

If you believe homosexuality is wrong, or are opposed to gay marriage,

… then you are the ones who have to explain the subtle difference between “not hating someone” and denying them their civil rights.

You are the ones who have to explain why violence bothers you less than the expressions of love and individuality that “provoke” it.

You are the ones who have to explain how giving one group of people their civil rights can hurt another group.

You are the ones who have to explain why your personal religion or morality should be the law, and mine should not.

You are the ones who have to explain what, exactly, gay people are supposed to do under your system. Lie about “roommates”? Be celibate for life? Make a genuine mockery of marriage by marrying a beard — or an unsuspecting and in-love straight person?

It is the person who is making the extraordinary claim who needs to produce extraordinary evidence. I’m not going to pretend that the claim of gay equality is the extraordinary one anymore. Those who deny it are the ones who are making the extraordinary claims, not me. They are the ones who have to explain themselves.


15 Responses to “National Coming Out Day”

  1. Liz on October 11, 2010 3:04 pm

    Thank you for saying exactly what I am thinking. Wonderful post. Wonderful.

  2. Quiet Dreams on October 11, 2010 4:29 pm

    I posted a link to this as my FB status. It says it so much better than I ever could.

  3. Caitlin on October 11, 2010 4:46 pm

    They are also the ones who have to explain why it doesn’t bother them that their beliefs are literally killing innocent people, some of whom are children. It’s okay with you to be part of the hatred that is killing people? It seems like the right/moral course of action to you? Explain that.

  4. Dmajor on October 11, 2010 4:57 pm

    I am convinced that once this whole dance is done, when same-sex marriage and gay rights are just accepted as obvious by society in general, that all the “objections” usually raised will seem simply incomprehesible and incoherent, a string of contentless tautologies — “It’s bad because my belief is that it isn’t good.”

    Sometimes waiting for the future to just frikkin’ get here is like waiting for a slow elevator. You know it’s gonna arrive. But maybe in this case, you *should* keep pushing on the “up” button.

  5. Felicity Pearson on October 11, 2010 5:36 pm

    You have said this perfectly. Thank you.

  6. Ajay on October 11, 2010 5:44 pm

    There are gay people in at least three generations of my family that I know of, including my parents. As a fifty something adult, I saw the bigotry the older generations experienced and its effect on all of our lives. My hope for the present and future of my family is everyone feels equally welcomed and valued. Though the younger bigots sorely try my resolve!

    THANK YOU for this post.

  7. Hope on October 11, 2010 6:11 pm

    Hear, hear!

  8. Carolyn on October 11, 2010 9:22 pm

    Your tweets bar recently had somebody casting a skeptical eye on the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign.
    The power of your voice HELPS It Get Better–thank you, Robin.

  9. Jerry on October 11, 2010 9:51 pm

    Hooray!

  10. Molly on October 11, 2010 10:36 pm

    AMEIN. And thank you.

  11. JDavidJ on October 12, 2010 2:45 am

    As someone who’s known this truth since the mid seventies, I was almost moved to tears to see it expressed so well. The tears were for the countless gay people who have been bullied, assaulted, tortured, murdered and so on over the centuries.
    Why can’t we just get on with differences?

  12. JP Gal on October 12, 2010 11:42 am

    Okay, you should have warned us that you were going to get all serious and wonderful and make us cry. I’m at work and can’t even see to type.

  13. Shulamuth on October 12, 2010 5:07 pm

    Another “Amen, Sister” here.

    I fall into that “I must be tolerant even of intolerance ” problem too, and I’m going to keep this somewhere to remind myself that no, I must not.

  14. MelissaJane on October 12, 2010 7:59 pm

    Oh, beautiful post, Robin. Thank you.

  15. Rubiatonta on October 12, 2010 8:35 pm

    There are times when tolerance is not warranted. And this is one.

    Thank you, Robin, for this.

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