Today is National Coming Out Day. It’s a little reminder that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people deserve some respect and celebration. It’s confusing to me that people still need reminding—surely as long as Stephen Fry and Pam St. Clement walk the earth, it should be blatantly obvious that non-heterosexuals are fabulous. However, there are still enough dumbasses around that it’s important to take a day to remember.
I personally don’t believe in labels: I like to keep all my options open as you never know just when you may feel that spark (Charlize Theron, if you’re reading this, call me). But just as there are those who insist they are heterosexual (despite that little fumbling incident at Boy Scout camp), there are those who feel confident calling themselves homosexual, and what’s wrong with that? As long as they don’t keep broken toys and other rubbish in their gardens (an act that is deserving of criticism), I say live and let live. When it comes to the bedroom department, I am in no position to judge anyone for their preferences (though I have published Agatha’s Annotated Kama Sutra, a text in which I judge various positions and list my preferences). Having a similar layout in their private areas should not restrict two adults who fancy a little sexy sex with each other. If you think it should, perhaps you should take a minute to ask yourself why you are so interested in other people’s sex lives. Are you some kind of pervert or something?
We supposedly live in enlightened times. When we hear about homosexuality being illegal, we see those laws as antiquated. We find ridiculous the anti-homosexual propaganda of the 1950s. We laugh at the coded language of the past that thinly veiled institutional homophobia: the actor forced to hide his true self and instead be labeled a “confirmed bachelor”; the athletic woman dismissed as a “tomboy”; the male hairdresser attacked simply because he “liked cock.” Pshaw! we say.
Yet are things all that different today? It’s sad that we still deny life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all—laws continue to restrict civil rights, hatred continues to breed violence and ignorance continues to thrive. It still takes a kind of bravery to come out publicly as L or G or B or T.
So let us celebrate that bravery. If you’re of the queer persuasion, hoorah for you! If you’re heterosexual but an ally of the gay community, hoorah for you as well! And if you’re Charlize Theron, seriously, consider joining me for dinner this weekend. I can definitely make it worth your while.