Yes, Coming Out Still Matters

I usually try to confine my posts here to writing, books, and Captain Janeway, but It’s National Coming Out Day in the U.S., and I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that I’m gay.

Gay gay gay gay gay.

Like, realllly gay. (Seriously, ask me about my Wonder Woman bracelets sometime.)

But anyway. Does something like that still matter? Yes, if you’ll pardon my language, it fucking matters. Because for a lot of people, coming out is still not the safe option. They have families that will throw them out, or live in communities where they’ll be in real physical danger if people know they’re not straight. Queer people may not have cornered the market on oppression—unfortunately, there’s a lot to go around. But people still get beat up and killed for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, ace, or any other orientation that doesn’t fit in convenient little boxes.

Speaking of that: if you’re reading this and it’s not safe for you to come out now, don’t put yourself in danger. Reach out for help when you are able. It’s our job, those of us with privilege and means, to try and make it possible for you to do so. Yes, other things matter, and yes, some of them are just as if not more urgent right now—racism, gender discrimination, police brutality, the completely whacked out imbalance of wealth and opportunity in the nation, the deeply unbalanced individual in charge. (Just a few examples.) But don’t let anyone use any of those things to dismiss the importance of  you and who you are. Just because they’re trapped in binary thinking doesn’t mean you have to be.

You matter, just as you are.

So, celebrate that, being who you are, even if only with yourself. The rest of us will keep fighting for everyone who doesn’t have it as good as we do. Captain Janeway would want you to. Probably with a cup of coffee. Black.

And if you’re not queer, my challenge to you is this: Do what you can to make it more accepting for those of us who are queer.

Captain Picard would say “make it so,” but no-nonsense Janeway would just say “do it.”

So do it.