On Monday, June 2, 2014, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer bloggers, their family members, and allies from across the U.S. and around the world will celebrate the ninth annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day. The event, developed and run by the award-winning LGBTQ-parenting site Mombian, and sponsored by Family Equality Council, aims to raise awareness of LGBTQ families, their diverse natures, and how current prejudices and laws have a negative impact on their lives and children.
By Michael McCarron
You never want to get too tied up in your own story. There is a whole big world out there that needs much more attention than the single person. But every so often it is important to focus the spotlight inward. Today is one of those days. Thanks to GLAAD, Mombian, and the Family Equality Council, today is the ninth annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day.
I was not originally going to post a personal vignette today, as I am always trying to keep Punk Out focused on others. However, after reading the touching coming-out story of Jacob Rudolph, I knew that the timing was right. Rudolph, for those of you who may have missed it, came out as a bi-sexual teen at his high school's Senior Awards Banquet and someone caught his acceptance speech on their phone and uploaded the video to YouTube. Naturally the video has over 2 million views.
Rudolph is an inspiration and his story is as encouraging for the much maligned bisexual community as it is for anyone struggling with their identity.
On this day it is important to recognize how important our friends are to us just as much as we recognize how important our families are. After all, our friends are just as much family as our siblings. In my case I know for a fact that I would not have been able to get through the coming out process as a gay male without my friends. I remember one October evening in 2011 deciding, "well, I might as well do this. I can't continue living a lie." So I sat down in front of my computer and messaged my closest friends with a simple message: Hey guys, I'm gay. My friend, Zac, was the first to message me back. In his dry manner he chimed, "About time." About time. I could not have summed it up any better.
If you unpack those two words, "about time," you find the foundation of a friendship. Implied is a general, long-term acceptance of an serious insecurity. Implied is a pronouncement that, "hey, I've known this about you for as long as we've been friends and nothing is going to change now." About time. So much wrapped up into a simple, two word phrase.
Coming out to the rest of my family had its up and downs. Your relatives have certain expectations for you that they have fostered since your birth. So it is no wonder that when their expectations are thrown a curve-ball that they may react in unique (and sometimes unwanted) ways. However, just knowing that I had my friends behind me made the coming out process go so much smoother. Knowing that they've known and still accepted me for who I was means more than they will ever know. So on this "Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day" let's not forget about our extended family: our friends.