National Coming Out Day is A Mistake

11 Oct
XY Magazine published a ton of coming out stories and I edited a few of them, but we did this to help gay youth, not to enshrine “coming out” as a rite of passage for people.
 
But coming out has turned into that , it’s a cottage industry for writers to be published on blogs, buzzfeed, everywhere. Coming Out day, in turn, continues to elevate the “coming out” as a rite of passage, and I think it’s a mistake. 
 
When Harvey Milk told people to come out, he did so for a very specific purpose; to turn the tide of history against anti-gay votes by people like Anita Briant. More than anything he wanted for the closets to be destroyed:
 
“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door in the country.”
 
National Coming Out Day tells me that we haven’t really learned anything from the past. Coming out of the closet is seen as a gay thing, but who builds the damn closet? Who puts us there? The coming out story as a national day continues to force gay people to separate themselves between out and not out instead of challenging the society that would force them to hide in the first place.
 
Gay, straight, bi, trans*,  every person in every classification, we should all do our best to destroy the closet, and we don’t do this by simply coming out, but we do this by challenging hetero-supremacist ideas and being Out with our ideas as well as our identities.  

 

The question isn’t “are you Out” but “What have you done to destroy the closet lately?” And this applies to straight people as well.
 
 
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