Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I'm a day late for National Coming Out Day!
Yesterday (Oct 11) was National Coming Out Day, and I missed doing a post about it on time! Oops! Better late than never, I hope. This fabulous postcard is from Syracuse Cultural Workers, a great organization with excellent progressive postcards. This one reads "Unfortunately, history has set the record a little too straight" and references 10 famous LGBT/queer people in history. They are, from left to right, top row: James Baldwin/writer, Willa Cather/writer, Errol Flynn/actor, Michaelangelo/artist, Edna St. Vincent Millay/poet; bottom row: Cole Porter/composer, Eleanor Roosevelt/social activist, Bessie Smith/singer, Walt Whitman/poet, Virginia Woolf/writer.
I often feel admiration for someone who is "out" openly and casually in mail-type internet settings, such as on a Postcrossing or Swap-bot profile. In the past I've been tempted to come out on this blog, but have held back because I want the focus of this blog to be on mail, not on me and my personal life. And I admit, I'm well aware that it's one of those things that once I put "out there," I can't take back. But I am mostly "out" in the aspects of my life where people come into personal contact with me - at work, with friends and most family, etc - so in a sense, I'm putting this out there for people who know more of my online persona than the real me, per se. I digress. Every time I see one of those little casual out mentions, I contemplate what I'm doing in this post. A lot over the past year I've been thinking how important visibility is, especially with the USA making so many wonderful, positive civil rights changes like repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" and promoting marriage equality in so many states. A lot of people can be casual in how they come out by referencing a partner, but my referencing my husband (I don't mention him often, for aforementioned privacy reasons) doesn't tell our whole story. I am bisexual and he is transgender. We do not consider ourselves a straight couple. I do not want this blog to become about me, and I don't want to grandstand by getting into any complicated explanations that don't have anything to do with mail or letter writing, but I am thinking it is time to just put it out there. I've come out to some of my pen pals, and not to others, and I am honestly reaching the point where in some cases, I forget to whom I've come out and to whom I haven't! So now anyone who reads this blog knows. I hope every single person who comes out, on National Coming Out day or any other day, makes it a little bit easier for everyone else in the world to come out, too, if they want to, and to lead normal, happy, hate-free lives.
So now, may my own record not be set a little too straight!