As Richard Eichberg once said:
“Most people think they don’t know anyone gay or lesbian, and in fact, everybody does. It is imperative that we come out and let people know who we are and disabuse them of their fears and stereotypes.”
Two days ago, LGBT community celebrated the National Coming Out Day, but to me Coming Out can be any day that you feel you need to be your true self and not letting others coming your way to be who you really are.
“Fitting in is the greatest barrier to belonging.” Dr Brene Brown. Fitting in means adjusting yourself to meet the expectations of others. When people repress themselves, they are likely to repressing their ideas as well, which means that some sizable percent of potential creativity is simply lost.
However, the bravest people to be coming out of being who they are, isn’t just the LGBT individuals, but, their loved ones who are brave enough to stand with them especially their children or siblings and outed themselves to simply say, “Yes, my parents/sister/brother is gay or lesbian.”
Because they are not just accepted but embraced the existence of their loved ones who are gay or lesbian.
They know they will be discriminated and shunned by society for what they have done, but with their coming out, give the confidence to their loved ones to be who they really are in the society at large.
The fundamental belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views.
Let’s take this Coming Out moment, to commemorate the day, Zach Wahls’ Coming Out to the mainstream community that his parents are gay. Zach is the child of two lesbians: Terry Wahls, an internal medicine physician, and Jackie Reger, a nurse.
In 2011, when Zach was nineteen and a sophomore civil engineering student at the University of Iowa, an organization had invited him to testify before the Iowa’s House of Representatives about a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. This wasn’t his first time outed himself to the public. Back in 2004, Zach outed himself being raised by a gay parent in front of his class.
So, in that House of Representatives, Zach gave his eloquent argument for equality and told the assembly how his mothers had raised him with good moral character, and with love, and that this love had nothing to do with the fact that they were gay.
This was his speech on that eventful day in 2011:
“So what you’re voting here isn’t to change us. It’s not to change our families, it’s to change how the law views us; how the law treats us. You are voting for the first time in the history of our state to Codify Discrimination into our constitution, a constitution that but for the proposed amendment is the least amended constitution in the USA.
You are telling Iowans that some among you are second-class citizens who do not have the right to marry the person you love.
So will this vote affect my family? Will it affect yours?
In the next two hours, I’m sure we’re going to hear plenty of testimony about how damaging having gay parents is on kids. But in my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple. And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.”
“It was a love letter to my parents,” Zach says of that speech. He also felt a sense of duty to stand for others who couldn’t speak for themselves.
As for me, a lesbian with a 22-year-old son, I totally agree with what Zach Wahl has mentioned that to be a gay parent doesn’t make my children be gay as well.
The Healing Circle.sg
13 October 2018