Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Come out, come out where ever you are."

Today is National Coming Out Day. I remember being a grad student at Vanderbilt and seeing signs on campus about NCOD and wondering, why do "they" need a day to come out? I was still trying to be straight at the time. Ironically, the fear and loathing I had for who I was answered my own question. At the time, the only "out" people I knew of were the more brave and radical folks. If people with whom I had more in common had been out, I probably would have been more comfortable with myself sooner and come out earlier.

That is why I am all the way out now. I wish I'd had role models with whom I could identify when I was younger. Hopefully I can be that now.

You know, National Coming Out Day isn't just for gay people--we need straight people to come out, too. What do I mean? Well, any time a straight person hides that they have a gay friend or family member when a bashing conversation starts or when a lie or myth about gay people is being spread, that straight person is also a victim of the closet. And sadly, there is never just one victim when someone is in hiding.

Pastor Mike says something when he breaks the bread for communion that seems like a coming out statement--I can't remember it exactly, which is sad since I've heard him say it a thousand times. Maybe if he's reading this he can give me the correct quote, but it goes something like--"Be what you see, Receive what you are." I think it has something to do with being the provision that God provides and receiving the provision that God makes you to be. For some reason, not sure why exactly, I see a connection to coming out.


Blogger Mike Mather said...

Dear Troy -- you got the quote right. It's St. Augustine (ironic ain't it?). The only additional thing I do is say, "be what you see, receive who you are -- and say amen." Now we know the amen is just another word for "so be it"right? I like that. But then the next words are "come to the table." Come out, come out, wherever you are. And come to the table. All are welcome.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Dear Mike and Troy,
I thank God for both of you.

7:45 AM  
Blogger scott collins said...


Thanks for your blog and for sharing your wisdom. I especially agree about straight people needing to come out whenever they hear hateful or just ignorant speech. I believe it is in those moments where the cutting edge exists -- where real change happens every day. May it be that in a few generations NCOD will be an unneeded, but important historical footnote like suffrage rallies and stops on the Underground Railroad.

7:48 AM  

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