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National Coming Out Day is for Straight Allies Too

National Coming Out Day is for Straight Allies Too

October 11 is National Coming Out Day, a day to raise awareness of LGBT rights issues and for young LGBTs to get advice about coming out when they are ready. After it was revealed over the weekend that another gay youth has committed suicide, it also seems an ideal opportunity for straight advocates to make their voices heard and let LGBT youth know that they are loved and supported.

Even as we have witnessed an unfolding spate of LGBT youth suicides, or seen reports of recent anti-gay hate crimes and read about the discrimination flying around as part of certain political campaigns in the lead up to the November elections, we have also witnessed a more vocal support for LGBTs and LGBT youth emerge. Too often those voices of affirmation are overpowered by rhetoric and dogma, but that needn’t be the case.

You’ve likely heard of the It Gets Better Project and you might have heard of the Make it Better Project which aims to empower LGBT kids to make life better for themselves by giving them the tools to put a stop to bullying and harassment and to get the help they need. The message is: People care and they are waiting to help you if only you’ll reach out to them.

Given that premise, this National Coming Out Day (and every day after) seems like a perfect time to come out if you are a straight advocate, too.

Imagine that by making other people aware of your support, you could make life better for someone who has been internalizing and worrying about how they will be treated should they reveal their sexuality or gender identity? What if your speaking up shows to that person acceptance is not only possible, but is right there waiting for them in people they know like you?

Or, what if by coming out as a straight advocate you empower your own child or teen, who might have sat by before as another kid was bullied because of his or her perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity? Your willingness to talk about your advocacy might encourage your child to stand up and to help kids, whether LGBT or not, so they can find the support they need to make the bullying stop.

Granted, it’s a simple idea, but knowing that you are not alone, that you do have support not just in the wider community but in straight advocate adults too, could be invaluable to LGBT and questioning youth.

So, if you can, take the time to vocalize and share your advocacy for LGBTs and their rights, because in doing so you might help change a life for the better or save a life from spiraling into depression and hopelessness.

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42 comments

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7:21PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

When I came out to my parents, then shunned me and treated me with disgust. They kept trying to do whatever they could to break my girlfriend and I up. I fell into a deep depression and my life fell apart. Eventually it worked and we split up. I had to escape so I then moved south. Eventually I snapped out of my it and got myself back but realized I had lost my girlfriend. Now 7 years later, my ex-girlfriend and I are re-kindling that relationship, only this time we are 1000 miles away from my parents. My parents are still the same and will never change. I am no longer close to my parents. I am not sure how to handle telling them about my girlfriend and I, but then again, does it really matter?

5:36PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

OK, I am found out; I am (was) a closet supporter of all individuals' rights to due no harm and practice happiness without prejudice while at the same time against all those that ridicule such.

2:30PM PDT on Oct 15, 2010

Boy, does America have a lot to learn from Holland,Sweden, and Denmark. In these countries, there would be no need for this.

3:21AM PDT on Oct 13, 2010

Thank you to all who have commented with an affirming message. It really has been a pleasure to see your personal testimonies of advocacy.

Regards and Best Wishes,
Steve W.

7:23PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

Marilyn L ,Thank You for you comments it's touch my heart you are right on!!!!!There have been a series of teen suicides over the past few weeks by children who were gay, and being bullied. Bullying is heartbreaking and simply unacceptable, on any level, from anyone. The kids who bullied these young children, along with their parents, have blood on their hands. They killed these children and should be held accountable.
Bullies are not just children. Kids learn from their parents. If parents condone this behavior it will never stop. The senseless deaths of these children must be a wake up call to this country. We must make this a country where everyone is treated equal, afforded the same rights, are allowed to marry, and can serve in the military.Our votes we will Make It Better:)



4:42PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

Lynndawn Eaglefeather says "Truthfully DON'T CARE period". So who asked you to? Take your homophobia, or apathy or both and shove it.

3:46PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

((((((HUGSTOMARILYN)))))))

3:45PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

Very well said Marilyn L.!

3:38PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

To all our straight allies I want to say thank you. You are needed more than you know. When I came out as a lesbian it was in the 1950's. It was rather lonely back then. We had some straight allies, but darn few. Things have gotten better since then and they will continue to do so.

All LGBT people must come out. You must live your truth or you are not living whole. Ewoud is right. The best thing we can do for our young LGBT people is to show them they are not alone. It is also the best way to show the rest of the world that we are not ashamed of who we are.

When you hide you hurt us all. When you hide you are saying to that teen, who has known probably for years she/he is homosexual, that they should be ashamed and hide too. But when the bullying starts, when the hidden cameras are on, what do you say to that teen then? I want to say to them and you live your truth, it will get better.

The LGBT community more than ever needs our straight allies. Together with our voices and our votes we will Make It Better.

12:03PM PDT on Oct 12, 2010

Could not even get a "Patriot's Day" designated following 9-11-01 and it should have been so deemed.
This soul is thoroughly tired and appalled at all the "special interest" groups whining.
"Live and let live" should be good enough.
NOT a holiday here this soul will celebrate or recognize. Truthfully, DON'T CARE. Period.

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