Posted by: Jamie Hahn | October 11, 2010

Out and Proud

Today is National Coming Out Day. I have mixed feelings about identifying one day to celebrate something that should be celebrated every day of the year. I do understand that in our mostly homophobic culture, we need to have a day that recognizes the struggle and encourages the courage needed to be “out” in our country. But I feel great sadness that the day hasn’t yet arrived when everyone – gay or straight – will be embraced for living their truth.

Further complicating matters is that “coming out” isn’t just one single event. Unless we’re talking about Elton John or Adam Lambert, most gay people don’t bust down the closet door with one swift kick, claim their gay birthright, and start living their alternative lifestyle openly and freely. For most gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals, coming out is a slow (sometimes painful) process that happens in stages. No matter how many people you come out to, there’s always an endless line of others waiting to hear, judge, and comment on your life. Add the uncertainty about people’s potential reactions to deeply ingrained feelings of shame and homophobia taught to all of us from an early age to the fear that being openly gay will define you completely and totally in others’ eyes, and you have a recipe for some challenging years.

So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and live your truth. It’s also hard to be straight and live your truth. Life is just hard. We all face great challenges to embrace our truths and share them with the world. I wonder why those shared struggles don’t bring us closer – why we continue to insist that we are separate from each other, especially when the rewards for coming together are so great and the consequences for not doing so are so profoundly awful. Why all the hate and fear when each of us is searching for the same things — acceptance, tolerance, and love? I guess that’s something for another post.

I will bring this post to a close by saying that today (and most days), I am out and proud. I love my life, and I feel grateful each day for all the love and support I have. Today, I recognize all those who don’t have that same love and support. I stand with you, whether you’re out on the front lines or hanging back in the shadows. I know that the world is changing and acceptance is coming. And I know that my courage and strength on this day, and every day, will help bring about that change even faster. I may not be marching on Washington or riding on a float at Pride, but I am living my truth one day at a time, so that all of us, one day, can be out and proud, too.

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Responses

  1. Wow. Profoundly awesome. Life is hard, why won’t we share the load?

    Change is in the wind.

    • Thanks, Cab. I sure hope change is in the wind. We need it, and we all need to learn to share that load. Couldn’t agree more.

  2. this post meant a lot to me. for really different reasons. thanks, jamie.

    • so glad to hear it! you are most welcome.

  3. Hi, Jamie,

    This post caught me off-guard strangely enough. Seems I’ve been so focused on the recent high profile suicides, I forgot to step away from the darkness and exhale. Your words allowed me that breath—they allowed for hope. I thank you for sharing your sweet spirit and for your authentic living. Someday, we will learn our true success does not come from breaking the backs of others. It comes, instead, from the outstretched hand. I have faith. In the end, “truth (and love) will out.”

    August

    • Thank you for your kind words, August. I couldn’t have said it any better. I’m keeping my eye out for more outstretched hands. I think there are more and more each day.

  4. Beautiful post, Jamie. It will be a beautiful day when we’re all just celebrating authenticity without labels. Meanwhile, arms wrapped around each other and hearts open wide. Be well! susan

    • A beautiful day, indeed. Thank you!

  5. Hi Jamie. We connected on Twitter about 30 seconds ago. As a writer, I always jump straight to the blogs to see what’s up. “I am living my truth one day at a time” is a beautiful quote that can apply universally for everything each of us are. Be true, happy and proud of who you are, whoever that might be. Nice to meet you! ~Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      Great to meet you too. Thanks for stopping by. I really do believe that the world will be a better place when we’re all rewarded for living our truths. It’s incredible how hard it is! Looking forward to checking out your blog.

      Jamie

  6. […] never know that. Out of 26 posts last year, I posted only one that was related to gay issues (Out and Proud), and it’s not because I didn’t have anything to say. It’s because I censored […]


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