Today is National Coming Out Day. Although it’s hardly a secret, here’s my official Skepchick coming-out as an radical queer who is pansexual in her tastes. You should also be reading — and now, thanks to the podcast, listening to — Queereka, if you aren’t already.
If you’re scratching your head at “radical queer” and “pansexual,” I ask that you pardon my preference for precise terminology. Laci Green breaks down pansexuality pretty well. As for being a radical queer, that’s the more political side. To quote Nick Benton:
Those who see themselves as oppressed—politically oppressed by an oppressor that not only is down on homosexuality, but equally down on all things that are not white, straight, middle class, pro-establishment. It should harken to a greater cause—that cause of human liberation, of which homosexual liberation is just one aspect.
In other words, my priorities aren’t exactly neatly aligned with those of the Human Rights Campaign.
This isn’t really about me, though, and for those who suffer, I offer a prayer not to a god so indifferent it appears not to exist, but to myself and others with the ability to make things better.
On this National Coming Out Day, let us remember those whose situations make it difficult or even deadly to come out. Let us remember that being not-straight and/or not-cis is a death sentence — literally, economically, or socially — in many places in the world, including places within the Western sphere. Let us remember the brave trailblazers who sacrificed their emotional and/or physical well-being in order to make the places where coming out is no longer as scary as it was what they are today. Let us remember those who died alone thanks to the bigotry of others and those who watched all too many die due to ignorant silence.
Let us not forget the trans women, especially those of color, who experience daily the fear that they are not safe no matter where they might live. Let us not forget the homeless gender nonconforming young people who make up an appallingly disproportionate majority of homeless LGBT youth but who are often forgotten in the charge forward for LGBT rights.
Most importantly, allow our thoughts to continue to lead us to action as they have with us and with those before us. May we all work to the best of our ability to make it so that we can all live openly without fearing multiple forms of violence. May we rejoice in the victories that encourage our actions and mourn the setbacks that motivate us to do more. May we carry the lessons of both our joys and our sorrows with us as we build a better world.