This is what National Coming Out Day was meant for

WWIn case you missed it, Sunday, Oct. 11 was National Coming Out Day — the day designated for giving folks in the closet a kind of permission to tell people they care about that they are members of the LGBT community. It’s a great idea — after all, there’s strength in numbers, right, so why not come out on a day you can point to countless other folks being upfront about their sexuality?

Of course, for many of us, coming out happened long ago, and we can forget what it was like to become so self-possessed as to tell someone who we are. So what about telling thousands of people?

Our friend Israel Luna knows one such guy — Walker Williams. Walker is from Israel’s hometown of Wellington, Texas, and this weekend he wrote a piece for the Amarillo Globe-News, in which he explained the confusion, fear, concern and even depression associated with hiding in the closet. Especially when you’re a star athlete.

Here is Walker’s story (as told to reporter Terrence Hunley). It’s an inspiring piece, and one that may strike many as very familiar.

Congrats, Walker! We’re proud of you. You’re toaster oven will be shipped to you soon.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Equality Texas encourages LGBT people to come out to their legislators

Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day but Equality Texas has named the day, “Come Out to Your Lawmaker Day.”

Equality Texas field organizer Daniel Williams said it’s not enough just to come out to your parents, employers or hairdresser. He said this year it’s important to come out to your lawmakers.

Here’s what Williams says to do:

Step 1: Go to www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us and look up your state representative and senator
Step 2: Call them and tell them that as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender Texan, or as an ally to the LGBT community you want them to support LGBT legislation
Step 3: Tell your friends to do the same
Step 4: Let us know how your call went by e-mailing comingout@equalitytexas.org

Below is a video of Williams calling his state representative Garnet Coleman of Houston who’s been a big ally of the LGBT community. While it’s important to let allies know you live in their district, it’s even more important to let those who vote against the LGBT community know you’re from their districts.

Want to know more about National Coming Out Day? The Human Rights Campaign tells the history of the event that commemorates the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

—  David Taffet