October 11th, 2012


it burns so bright like a light on a hill

I have some thoughts for (Inter)National Coming Out Day.

If I'd posted this when I opened this tab, a few hours ago, it would be a happier post. About 70% of my facebook feed today has been taken up friends posting statuses about it, and it's fun, you know, to actually see a load of us all being vocal at once. To talk about issues in public, and have people who normally refuse to listen read the threads because we're talking about something positive. (That said, the thread on my status has devolved into a discussion on tea and on whether it's unforgivably antisocial to read a book during sex.)

But. Something about getting quick, supportive "Likes" or comments from people who feel happy tossing around identities as pejoratives, or from the guy in my gaming group who I've had long, long arguments with about his "right" to call people f*ggots or to be a racist douche -- well. It's that easy, is it, to do your bit and assert you support us. Today. Just today.

There is an LGBTQsoc stand at Freshers' Fair. And every year, lots and lots of straight people come up and say something along the lines of, "I'm not queer, but am I allowed to sign up anyway?"

"Oh yes," the people on the stand say. "In fact, you can also sign onto the mailing list for the activism branch of the society! We're working towards things like improving the uni environment for queer people, writing political letters, and all that sort of stuff. We always need more allies."

"Oh. Actually, I only want to join in on the social side of things. You know, the drinks nights?"

Lots and lots and lots of people. Every time. We'll be your allies while it's fun for us. Not when it's work. When you have to sit back sometimes, and give up things you like, and speak up when no one else does.

I am remarkably privileged. I am white and my parents are comfortably middle-class and I can usually hide my crazy and I can talk about being gay and poly and ace because it's safe for me to do so. I get angry about microaggressions and slurs and I am so incredibly lucky because I am safe.

Acceptance is good. Acceptance is important. Action is more important, because this world is so far from good enough. I can come out, but we have gay kids and trans* kids living on the streets and we have people being murdered in all these countries we live in and we are not doing enough. I am not doing enough. We all need to work so much harder.

Days of Things are all very well, but it's the rest of the year that's important. What you're doing then. Who you're remembering. What actions you're taking to make the world better on all those other days.

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