Posts tagged ‘Coming Out Day’

October 12, 2012

Today Was National Coming Out Day

An interesting day given the state of the world and the changes that are happening like an unstoppable tide. Admittedly the progress towards accepting the human rights of LGBT people has not been even around the globe but forward movement is forward movement and it is heartening. Sad that some people still feel that there is one acceptable bastion of allowable hatred and that is towards a group that loves in a way they do not understand. The key word is ‘love’ but that never features in their arguments as their obsession with the mechanics of sex seems to dominate their thoughts.

The fact is, as US Secretary of State ( and quite frankly my choice for the ideal US President) Hillary Rodham Clinton asserted recently anyone who wants to hold on to ridiculous notions of what is moral and right are on ‘the wrong side of history”. Being who you are and opening yourself to love can never be wrong – trust me.  The other truth is that when people ‘come out’ and let the world see that they are productive members of society they tear down the fallacies bit by bit.

As a friend told me recently if they hate gay people then don’t use a computer ( Alan Turing) , wear clothes ( pick any of  hundreds of designers) , live in an architecturally designed house ( many choices there), look at great art ( Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Caravaggio etc etc) , listen to music ( Tchaikovsky and hundreds of others),  read some of the greatest literature ever written ( Oscar Wilde … well that alone says it) and let’s not talk of fine dining. A pretty sad life really.

I’m from Driftwood just uploaded a new video so I will end with that. The world is changing and we should all embrace that change.

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October 11, 2011

Project Bolo

Today is apparently National Coming Out Day (in the US at least) so it is sort of interesting that I just discovered Project Bolo on Vimeo.  In their own words:

PROJECT BOLO, meaning ‘Project Speak Up’, offers role models by documenting Indian LGBT persons – their growing up, struggles, love, career, achievements and life.

Project Bolo’s objective is to record Indian LGBT history, as well as inspire and empower the LGBT community in India, by presenting video interviews of LGBT persons and role models, who ‘speak up’ about their life and work.

I found this older gentleman Hoshang Merchant to be especially brilliant and funny.

Hoshang has always been a rebel, he says, right from his
childhood in Mumbai in a Parsi household. He studied at
Purdue and then traveled extensively teaching and… looking
for life experiences – from US to Iran to Palestine. He returned
back to India but could not get a job. He was rejected by
several colleges and universities because he was openly gay
and unapologetically so. Finally he found his home at the
University Of Hyderabad where he continues to teach English
literature. The anthology he published ‘Yaraana’ was one of
the first queer writings to come out of India and he has more
than 25 books to his credit – of poems, essays and stories.
He is a rebel with a cause!

And this one is an overview video of about twenty interviews.

Looks like I have some viewing ahead of me.

Videos courtesy : Project Bolo – Indian LGBT Oral History Project

October 11, 2010

A double rainbow for October 11th.

Yes I know the second rainbow is fading – but to have the thought.

There hasn’t been a lot to celebrate these past few weeks with all the suicides and new ones emerging every day but it is Coming out Day today so I felt it merited something. As a Canadian I guess it is easy for me to say as I belong to a nation that embraces human nature. In much of the rest of the world it isn’t the case.  I live in one of those places now where it is a daily reality. Where kids spend much of their lives fearing judgment and where the statute books say if they engage in a physical act as part of their love they face jail time. It isn’t enforced in T & T but the fact that it could be is is disturbing. If you are a guy who kills another guy  here’s  the surest way to get off of a murder charge – say “he made a pass at me.”  I have seen that work multiple times.

As a self-identified North American I also look at the kids who killed themselves because they were bullied these past weeks and I get angry. Really angry. Some of the cases like Seth Walsh were open at an early age. In Seth’s case it was 13.  That may surprise a lot of people who think it is a ‘choice’ but if you are heterosexual I am pretty sure you knew it at a much earlier age even if you couldn’t define it. Seth lived in a small community and probably just spent his entire life feeling different. Somewhere along the line he decided that he found a word for what he was and wanted to express it. He wanted to celebrate the wonderful thing that was his life. Instead, he was bullied and made to feel so awful that he decided to hang himself. He heard what the mainstream religious world said about him, saw the rejection from his friends and decided that he could not go on.  A lot of people have blood on their hands. At work today we started talking about bullying and suicide and I brought up the subject of sexual orientation. I heard that there must have been more to it than that – killing yourself because you are gay?  I heard that lots of kids are taunted but they don’t kill themselves …nerds get bullied too. Sometimes empathy is a rare commodity. There is a fundamental difference between being bullied because you are small , or because you are nerdy and being bullied because you are gay or perceived to be gay or lesbian or transgendered.  Being small or nerdy you go home and your family loves you and so does your church ( if you are so inclined) and the greater society. You don’t live in a world that says you are evil and going to hell. Or that you somehow chose a path that was wrong.  I think we always choose the only path that we see. To put that sort of pressure on a little kid  is where fundamental evil comes in.

So on Coming Out Day ( except in the UK …because they just had to be different)  I think it is important that people tell someone they care about a little more about themselves. The nature of the world dictates that you look around and decide that is is safe to do so. So, if you are a Taliban member in a group meeting, I would urge you to think carefully ( but I am sure you are not alone) . If you are a mormon elder and you want to wave your arms in the air today I suggest you think carefully about it and then do it. You don’t have to tell the world just someone you care about. Baby steps.

And I am very proud that the amazing daughter of my cousin ( yes I know that makes her my second cousin…but she calls me her cousin) came out this evening about her relationship with her boyfriend.  Twelve years of loving each other and she chose Coming Out Day. Well done Shivani.

To me the most important day will be Spirit Day. October 20th, 2010 in memory of the kids who died as a result of bullying because they were gay or perceived to be gay. Wear purple.