Saturday, October 11, 2008

National Coming Out Day...for Straight Allies

coming-out-dayToday is National Coming Out Day. Tomorrow is the official dedication of the Ken Baker Equality Center in Montgomery, Alabama. I wish every day that my brother could have lived to see a time when the Center would be only a gathering place, a place for fellowship and celebration, a place to honor the past. A museum to house the relics of the struggle for equality long since obtained, in law and in actuality.

That day will come, but it will get here a lot faster with the steadfast and vocal support of straight allies. We can all nod and smile in agreement with the idea that everyone should be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. In certain circles, that's not only easy, it's pretty much a requirement for admission. And it is important. It's a sea change from just a generation ago. But it isn't enough.


It's time to speak up publicly when we hear politicians invoke the undefined but nevertheless incredibly powerful "homosexual agenda". It's time to challenge our own faith communities to stop hiding behind a few selected passages of scripture to justify discrimination. It's time to counter misinformation with facts when we're talking to friends, colleagues, or family. It's time to let other people know that we are allies in the struggle for LGBT equality and why it's so important to us and our loved ones.

And it's time to put our time and money where our hearts and minds are. These are tough economic times for everyone, and I don't know anyone who isn't already incredibly busy, but it only takes a little from each of us to add up to a mountain of support. Write a check, write a letter (to the editor and/or your elected officials), put a bumper sticker on your car, join your state's Equality organization (click here to find yours; if your state doesn't have one, do what you can to get one started). Tell your story. Do what you can, where and when you can, and you may find yourself making miracles.


If you're in the area, you're invited to the dedication of the Ken Baker Equality Center tomorrow from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. The Center is located at 821 S. Perry Street in Montgomery.