Today is National Coming Out Day, the 23rd anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It is a day for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community and their allies to speak up and speak out about the need for equality. Did you know that only 5 states (IA, NH, MA, CT, and VT) plus the District of Columbia recognize that marriage is about love, not gender? Did you know that 90% of GLBT teens experience harassment, bullying, and/or physical violence based on their (often just perceived) sexuality? Did you know that gay teens are 30% more likely to attempt suicide than straight teens? Did you know that you can be fired in 29 states for being gay, lesbian or bisexual? Did you know that the number increases to 38 states if you are transgendered? Did you know that over 14,000 service members have been discharged under the failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy?
Did you know that you can do something about all of these statistics? Did you know that you can make a difference? It just takes one step. Come out. Come out as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered. Come out as an ally. Just come out and stand up for what is right. Let the world know that the GLBT community is made up of people who deserve better. I know I do.