Wednesday, October 11, 2006

National Coming Out Day

We're HERE, We're QUEER, Get USED TO IT!

Sorry, I was back in my Washington protest days. Ahhh, to be young and in graduate school again.

Today is National Coming Out Day. If you are gay, tell someone. If you are straight and supportive of gay rights, tell someone. If you are homophobic, try talking to someone who is gay (or straight and supportive) without judging.

I have a pretty good life. I have a wife of 10 years (Hi BooBoo), a good job where I am out and where my relationship is treated like any other (well mostly) and where domestic partner benefits are offered, and a family who tries very hard to accept me and The Wife. I have good friends who generally make up for any shortcomings in the relationship recognition department from the family. I also have the world's best poodle who provides more unconditional love than one person needs (in the form of copious doggie kisses.)

While my life is good, life for gay Americans is not always so rosy. You can still be fired from your job (or not hired in the first place), you can be discharged from the military, and general discrimination is legal and openly practiced against gays. Unless you are a Massachusetts resident you cannot marry in the US and foreign marriages are not recognized here. The state and federal government confer many benefits upon married couples and gyms, golf clubs, museum, insurance companies etc extend benefits to those who are "legally" married. In short, while I work full-time, pay taxes, vote, and obey the law, I am still a second-class citizen.

Work for equality. When one person is oppressed, no one is truly free.

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