Coming Out: Momentum

Today is National Coming Out Day. This year, I’ve decided to write a series of blog entries on the subject. My focus: Motivation, memories and momentum.

In my future baby daddy’s autobiography, he talks about sharks and how they have to keep moving in order to live – they have to have forward motion. My future baby daddy says he sometimes thinks it’s motion that keeps him alive. And I think Anderson Cooper is on to something.

First, we must press on on a personal level. We must move our family and friends from accepting us to advocating for us. Many times, they think that because they’re OK with who we are, they’ve done their job. I love my friends and family for accepting me, but I appreciate it even more when I know they’re fighting for me. I appreciate it more when I know that if one of their friends or someone from the church finds out that “Kyle is gay,” they don’t cower in a corner and play it down or completely lie about it. Instead, they proudly say, “Yep. He’s gay. And I fully support him for finally allowing himself to publicly be who he’s always privately been.” See? Look at that, family and friends! I gave you the exact words to use! How nice am I?! Now go use them! 

We must also press on together. I adore the “It Gets Better” project. But it only gets better if we as a group are honest with each other and with everyone else about who we are, what we want and why. We shouldn’t have to explain why we want to be equal, but just as we must still “come out,” we must still demand equality.

Having the motivation to come out is one thing. Looking back on the past to gain new perspective is another. But what do we do with all of that? We should do, as individuals, what we hope our society ultimately does – use the momentum we have to move forward. Being happily out of the closet doesn’t mean that it’s always as easy for others to come out. We should be ready to help them. This is one of my most important tasks in life. I’ve realized that I’m uniquely suited to help a certain group of people through what could be a treacherous time in their lives. And so I’ve made a personal pledge to help people when they need it.

As we come out, people start to realize that we’re all alike in the important ways. We all have hopes and dreams. And we have our differences. Some of us want families, others just want fun. Some of us want to live in the big city and eat sushi for dinner. Others want to live in the mountains and eat fried chicken for dinner. There are gay guys who fix cars and lesbians who wear lipstick. And yes, while perhaps particularly elusive, there are even gay Republicans.

You know, there is a gay agenda. But it’s not to take over the world, it’s not to destroy families and it’s not to destroy the so-called sanctity of the half-effective ritual Americans call marriage.

The gay agenda is the same as the straight agenda: We want happiness. 

So we must use our momentum to improve our personal lives and move the country forward. And we must also use our momentum to help others who still need motivation. But today isn’t about me telling you what you should and shouldn’t do or what I went through when I came out. That’s not what this series is about. My writing is not for me. It’s for that 12-year-old boy who doesn’t know what to do because he feels different. And he thinks he knows why, but he’s scared his honesty will start a snowball effect to an untimely end. It’s for the 40-year-old man, living in silent agony because he has what everyone else would call “the American dream,” only it’s not his dream. It’s for others teetering on the edge of honesty or trying to transition from accepting to advocating. 
I choose to use my momentum to help those who still need motivation. And through that – through honesty and transparency – my hope is that one day, blogs like mine will be irrelevant. So I’m going to fight to stay motivated, fight to remember my past and fight to keep up my momentum. The more people who can come out and join me, the stronger we’ll be and the faster we can get things done. And that’s what today is all about.

Oh, and Anderson doesn’t know that he’s going to be my baby daddy yet. So let’s just keep that between you and me…for now.

 

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