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Coming out as gay in America

Coming out as gay
Coming out as gay
Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images

Gays continue to feel the need to “come out” in America. Recently, University of Massachusetts sophomore, and basketball player, Derrick Gordon announced that he was the “first openly gay and active Division 1 basketball player.” Whether Mr. Gordon is the first openly gay and active Division 1 basketball player or not is not important. The issue at hand is why the need to do so in the first place especially in the land of the free?

Gays in other countries are persecuted and worse causing them to live a life in hiding. Such a life is extremely stressful hiding from ignorance, bigotry and hate. But here in America, why is there the need, at least for some, to pronounce one’s sexual preference? There are many reasons or rationales that come to mind and all of them are healthy and noble undertakings. Noble because there are fringe elements alive in America today who base their views about what is acceptable in life on ignorance, bigotry and hate.

First and foremost, when a high profile individual declares that they are gay it makes it okay for others to feel good about themselves if they are gay. Many people are not secure about their sexual preference and when high profile individuals like Derrick Gordon or Michael Sam “come out” it is validating for them. “Coming out” also begins to allow the person to live a life true to self. When more and more people “come out” we may eventually see a change in America in regard to social norms.

The ignorance, bigotry and hate from those opposing and persecuting other people’s choices in a free country are good arguments that all Americans need to be well educated. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals deserve the right to live a life true to self. Whenever you have the opportunity support Americans making choices for themselves and encourage the ignorant, bigoted and hateful to get an education and a life.