Last night, my friend Andrea emailed me a YouTube speech that Dustin Lance Black gave at Harvard and told me to watch it. For those of you who don't know, Dustin Lance Black is the man who wrote the screenplay for "Milk", and also the man who delivered one of the most memorable Oscar acceptance speeches that I've ever heard. In the speech I watched last night, I was struck by something he touched on. He talked about how the gay community needs to come out and really put ourselves out there, live our gay lives in the open, because it's very easy for people to vote against us when they can't see us, when we're invisible. This got me thinking about "out", what it means to be out, and just how important it is for us to come out...we need to be an-in-your-face and OUT presence if we want to be taken seriously and if we want to win this fight.
I don't by any means consider myself an activist, I don't think I have the mentality, but while I might not be on the front lines battling, I'm not exactly hiding either. More and more I'm trying to be out, completely out, exposed, unashamed of who I am and who I love. There are things I've always wanted to do as part of a couple that I've always been scared of doing outside of Boystown. These days, I'm saying "Eff you, fear. I'm doing these things." and I'm forcing myself to do them. They are simple things that I'm sure every hetero couple on the planet never ever ever thinks twice about and therefore totally takes for granted. I'm doing things like holding The Joyous One's hand at restaurants when we're having a romantic dinner, even though I'm nervous about the server asking us to leave. I will put my arm around her at Cubs games, even though I worry that I'll get peanuts thrown at me(although if they aim the peanuts at my mouth I won't care because free peanuts!). I'll grab her hand as we stroll down the street, even though I'm terrified that the wrong person will drive by. Outside of my relationship with The Joyous One, I've taken to being totally open and shouting my gayness from the FB rooftop, even though I'm worried about what my "friends" might think. And I'm contributing to this blog, which is all about being gay.
Don't get me wrong, I know I've had it fairly easy. I know that not everyone has the support that I've been so lucky to have. I cannot even pretend to know what it's like to have things go the other way. But what I do know is that by putting myself completely out there, and opening up myself and my life to people, that some closeted gay who reads this blog, or looks at my Facebook page will realize that they do have the support of me, and all the others gays of the world. And maybe it will light a fire under them to come out, to quit the lie, to say "Eff you fear. I'm doing this" and if that happens enough times, you can bet your ass we won't be invisible anymore.
It's the month of Pride, all you gays out there! Let's be proud of ourselves!