Today marks seven years since I came out as a gay person. I very much appreciate all of the people that have supported me since that day. While I recognize the strides that this country has made in that time, I know that we still have a long ways to go to make this country safe for all LGBT people.
There are an increasing amount of studies being done on LGBT people showing the psychological damage of being in the closet.A lot of these symptoms point to people having some form of PTSD. Even once LGBT folks come out they are not out of the woods as discrimination and hatred can come from anywhere: walking down the street, political speeches/legislation, and social media can all trigger those PTSD symptoms.
I recognize that I have it relatively easy because I have built a wonderful support system that loves me, I am a white male, and I can blend into a crowd anytime I feel unsafe. That said, I can still be brought down by the things I see and hear - not because I'm weak or a ❄️... but because I know that there are people out there who don't have anyone to reach out to.
As the years have passed I have come be to be so grateful for being gay. The perspective this has given me on the world far outweighs the negatives that I deal with on a daily basis. It also reminds me on a daily basis how important it is to express love towards others even in the most trying of circumstances.
I chose this picture because this is a rare time Sam and I have held hands in public because we still don't really feel comfortable or safe to be affectionate in public. While this is just a small inconvenience in our lives it's still pretty messed up. I understand that a number of people in this country have feelings about LGBT people that stem from their religion. They teach their LGBT youths to treat their uniqueness as a disease. They use their community to bully us. They use their community to shame us. They use their community to pit us and our allies against each other. We must stop letting them divide us. We must use OUR community to build each other back up and extend that love to other minorities.
#lgbt #comingout #loveeachother #unity