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National Coming Out Day - October 11 - Talk About It

Rick Munroe

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Some (many?) of our posters/lurkers are in the closet, and while I respect their choices, I think it's also important to encourage them to come out. Almost everyone I've ever spoken to who went through the experience after years of living in secrecy said they felt liberated, empowered, and that it wasn't the horrible, life-ending disaster they'd anticipated. And in many cases, their friends and family already knew; those that didn't were often supportive. Of course, that is not everyone's experience, but...well, I always remember that when I told my parents I was gay at age 16, my feeling was: hey, if they can't deal with it, that's their problem, not mine. Luckily for me, they were cool with it (after I explained that, no, I didn't want to wear dresses :p ).


Here's the Human Rights Campaign's press release:


WASHINGTON — “Talk About It” will be the theme of this year’s National Coming Out Day, to be celebrated on Oct. 11, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced today. HRCF’s Coming Out Project is an ongoing campaign to empower gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied Americans to live openly and honestly about their lives.


“Every single time we talk about our lives as GLBT Americans, we are another step closer to equality,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Each word helps build bridges that change hearts and minds — and eventually our laws.”


A poll of GLBT Americans last year showed that startling amounts of people not only conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity from people in their lives, but many people who consider themselves to be “out” also refrain from speaking to others about GLBT issues. Among the findings of the poll: only 3 percent of members of the GLBT community are out to their doctors, and less than half are out to their bosses at work.


“Obviously, coming out for the first time is important for leading a whole and complete life, but we also want to help encourage and empower people to talk openly about their lives each and every day,” said Mark Shields, director of the Coming Out Project.


Shields recently began as director of the Coming Out Project. Previously, he had served as deputy director of media relations at HRC, where he helped develop the organization’s messages and provided information and resources to reporters and news outlets.


The Coming Out Project is particularly focusing on supportive straight people and working to give them resources and opportunities to voice their support for equality.


“We will only achieve equality by growing the number of people who stand with us,” said Shields. “Every time a straight person speaks out against an anti-gay joke, or joins a gay-straight alliance, they are having a coming out experience. We want to honor that, and make sure it happens more often.”


In the coming weeks, new resources and materials will be made available and the Coming Out Project will continue to mobilize around Coming Out Day, but it is also working to help people be “out” every single day.


For more information: [a href=http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Get_Informed4&template=/Surveys/SurveyDisplay.cfm&SurveyID=40]National Coming Out Day [/a]

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  • 16 years later...

Today is again October 11th, National Coming Out Day. A surprise is that Superman's son, Jonathan Kent, has come out of the closet and will be an openly gay superhero!



From the Times article...

"The coming out of Superman, perhaps the most archetypal American superhero, is a notable moment even in an age when many comics have embraced diversity and are exploring pressing social issues. Batman’s sidekick, Robin, recently acknowledged romantic feelings for a male friend (not Dick Grayson — who was Batman’s partner for over four decades — but Tim Drake, a later replacement; there are multiple Robins just as there are multiple Supermen). And a new Aquaman comic stars a gay Black man who is positioned to become the title hero.

It has been a steady evolution for an industry that had moved to censor itself in a number of ways after “Seduction of the Innocent,” a 1954 book by the psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, raised concerns about sex, gore and violence and suggested a link between reading comics and juvenile delinquency. In one section, Wertham described Batman and Robin as “a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.”

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