Coming Out

Here’s to Anderson Cooper, who so eloquently came out as a gay man yesterday.

Anderson Cooper at Qualcomm Stadium during the...

“…I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

Being who you are is never a reason for shame. It can be, however, a reason for caution. It’s not always safe to be who you are- and everyone gets to make that call for themselves. For all the kids out there who may not yet be fully able to be themselves: Be patient, be gentle with yourselves and quietly gather supportive and loving people around you. Your day will come.

Pride Vigil (text)

I had some requests to put up the text for the Pride Vigil for Memory, Strength and Hope which we did on Saturday night at The Emerson. There will be more to come, but before I put Gregory and Patricia on the airplane, I’ll just post this here….

 

The darkness can be frightening.

We have sometimes been very afraid here in the State of Montana, because at times, it has been very, very dark.

We have lost good men and women and children to HIV/AIDS.

We have been bullied and teased and yes, driven from our very homes and schools and communities. We have been killed and we have killed ourselves. We have been legislated against and told by official political platforms that we are criminals.

We have been hurt here under this big, dark sky.

But there is light.

There are people whose bravery have driven away darkness. Whose voices refuse to give in to hopelessness or complacency or fear. You know those voices in your lives. You also are those voices. And when we use our voices to proclaim the goodness of our lives and the lives of our brothers, sisters, parents, children and friends- the light grows stronger.

The bravery is here.

Look around you now. Look at the strength that surrounds us.

Look at the light. Now share the light.

(candles lighted)

This light is in your hands. It belongs to you. It has always belonged to you.

Share it. And remember the lives that have lived with pain to bring us here- to this place of hope and triumph.

Now we take a moment to remember our loves, our losses, our reasons for hope.  (silence)

Today is a gorgeous day in Montana History, because the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Two-Spirited People and our Allies will not let this light die.

We will not be afraid.

We will stand up when we are told to lie down.
We will speak when anyone tries to shame us into silence.
We will remain when we are told to leave.
We will proclaim the truth.
Firmly and gently and clearly and proudly.
The truth that we are light.
And that light makes Montana more beautiful, not less.  More.

If you believe it, say Amen!
If you promise to live it, say Amen!
If you promise to not give up, say Amen!

I hear the dance music next door, and I’m reminded of the words of Joe Jervis:

They wish we were invisible.
We’re not.
Let’s Dance!