Happy Coming Out Day!

A friend informed me that today is ‘National Coming Out Day’, and i jokingly said to her, ‘Great, lets come out on the blog today’.

A few minutes later I check my twitter account and www.feministing.com have a link to a post on ‘Happy Coming Out Day’…I liked the following quote from their site:

It’s well documented that the more people someone knows who are LGBTQ, the more accepting they are of queer folks.

So find someway to celebrate today, even as an ally who supports everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression

Personally I think its important for ‘straight’ people to speak up on issues of gay rights. A couple of weeks ago one of my boyfriends was telling me how he had to jump to my defense because another guy called me a ‘dyke’. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to be angry…laugh because i thought “This foolish man, he doesn’t even know anything about lesbian relationships cos if I’m a lesbian I definitely wouldn’t be the dyke“. More importantly I believe that one of the ways people continue prejudice against gays and lesbians is by ‘accusing’ anyone who speaks up on issues of gays or lesbians of being ‘gay’. Can’t you be straight and be a gay rights activist?

I don’t believe that women experience their sexuality in such a limited fashion. I think women’s sexuality is more fluid and can run the gamut of straight, lesbian, bi…what tends to define our sexuality or the sexuality we choose to identify with our social norms.

Your thoughts?

7 comments On Happy Coming Out Day!

  • My motto in life: an injustice to one is an injustice to all.

  • Happy coming out day to you too! Today I say to each and everyone in the closet…Its too dark & damp in there come out come out come out! lets love, lets laugh & lets live irrespective of whom your heart chooses to do it with.

  • @Kofi – Well said!

    @Zeeria – Thank you!

  • Nope. You would def not be a ‘dyke’!

  • Thanks so much for the piece. As a queer woman, I know that we definitely need more straight allies on our continent! Coming out, especially an increasingly vocal and hostile environment, is definitely a challenge and can be really lonely. From my opinion, there are 3 things that straight allies could do that would really make a difference:
    1) love and support their LGBT friends, sisters, brothers, etc. still recognizing that their sexual orientation is only one part of who they are and there is nothing “wrong” with them.
    2) educate themselves on some of the issues – websites like Behind The Mask, International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and PAMBUZA are good resources for learning about LGBT issues in Africa and internationally. PLAG (parents, friends and families of lesbian and gays) is a U.S. based organization but has some good resources. There are also a number of blogs out there by LGBT Africans that provide personal perspectives and experiences.
    3) Don’t be silent!! Sometimes we have opportunities to educate someone or to stand up for another person, in our every days lives. Take advantage of some of these opportunities.

    Love the blog, by the way! I’ve been a faithful fan and reade since the beginning!
    – AM

    P.S. “Dyke” means different things to different people. I’m not sure if you were thinking about apperance or behaviour but there are some “feminine” women who would be assumed to be straight who would call themselves dykes. And not all of us have relationships where one person is more traditionally masculine and the other more traditionally feminine.

  • @Abena – Heheheh

    @AM – I can’t believe I never responded to this comment, apologies. I guess I need more education too. Any chance I can convince you to write a guest post on LGBTQI terminology? I would much appreciate it. Thanks for the resources you shared. Much appreciated!

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/weekinreview/30gettleman.html?ref=global-home

    @AM, you make several important points. As a straight guy, I’ve wondered often how to get engaged in this struggle. I was definitely a friend of the effort in college in the US, but that was a simpler environment to be in. I am ashamed that the leading gay activist in Uganda has been killed. (see link above). I hope to live to see a day when this form of bigotry is eliminated.

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