Why It Is Important to Come Out as a Straight Ally
Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day. It’s a day when people of all sexualities are encouraged to be honest and open about themselves, to stop hiding their sexuality from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates. This is incredibly important, and I stand in solidarity with everyone who uses this day to come out about their sexuality. But what about the rest of us, those of us who are heterosexual and gender conforming? I think it is vital that we use this day to come out, too. We need to come out as straight allies.
We all know that the world is hostile to LGBTQ people. They don’t have the same rights as the rest of us, and people actively campaign to make sure rights aren’t granted to them. Slurs against them are common. The media represents them as jokes. They are targeted by bullies and are the victims of hate crimes. When I was younger, I contributed to this hostile environment. I was bigoted against homosexuals, and I let my opinions be known. There were gay teens in my schools who heard my opinions, and I am so sorry for how my words caused harm for those teens. I’m embarrassed that I added to the pressure LGBTQ individuals created every day. Now I see it as my responsibility to speak up against discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation. It’s important for the LGBTQ community to realize that they are not alone, that there are people in the world who support them and who will fight for their rights. That support means a lot, and little by little it will lead to a change of opinions. Little by little it will result in securing important rights for LGBTQ individuals.
So, even if you’re straight, please come out today. Come out in support of LGBTQ equality! Talk to your friends and family that you support equal rights for everyone, or show some support for a student at school who may be getting bullied. If you want to share your support for equality on twitter or facebook, we’ve got some sample messages made for you:
– Twitter: I’m #ComingOut in support of LGBT equality with @thehpalliance http://youtu.be/8ovEvzKLwZ8 RT to show your support!
– Facebook: Today is National Coming Out Day. I’m coming out in support of LGBT equality with @TheHarryPotterAlliance because nobody should be forced to live in a cupboard! Add this to your status to show your support! http://youtu.be/8ovEvzKLwZ8
Happy National Coming Out Day!