Tuesday, October 11, 2011

National Coming Out Day

It was a brutal time.

Telling my family and the Navy that I am gay.

Hardcore difficulty. Loss of sleep. Lots of emotion. A ton of fear.

No, I didn't go out on a date with with Louise.

I went out on a date with Louis.

I still remember that night. Jaws dropped (I was surprised as to how many had no clue). It was a weekly meeting I went to filled with people who "loved" me. More than half didn't say good night afterward. Many of them didn't call for a long time. I now realize that many of them simply had no idea what to say. To many, I was the first person ever to say to them that I was gay.

Most of this happened in 1990. I went to my first gay rights march in Columbia, South Carolina. It was a HUGE deal for me.

Coming out, even today, is no easy deal. Even if the person coming out to you knows that you will be supportive, it can be challenging.

Today is National Coming Out Day. Yep, we have a day.

As an animal rights activist and human rights activist, I invite all of you to join me in making our movements more welcoming to all. We do nothing for the voiceless when our movements or people in our movements are perceived to be bigoted (or even worse, are bigoted).

Happy National Coming Out Day!

If you know of anyone struggling with coming out, there are many resources. For young people, the best is The Trevor Project, which is linked from our blog.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Congratulations and thank you for being a strong, staunch supporter for two great and worthy causes. I am also a diary-free vegetarian (not totally vegan) and it is refreshing to know there are other powerful, intelligent and compassionate people out there!