National Coming Out Day began 24 years ago, in October 1988—coincidentally, the same time “What a World” first appeared in the gay press. Happy Birthday to us all!
As I do almost every year at this time, again I ask you to come out. You know why; we’ve been through this at least 23 times already.
This year, I’m also asking you to come out and vote—and vote Democrat—because the Republican Party has almost become too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Almost.
It’s hard to believe there’s even one queer out there who is still on the fence about which way to vote in this upcoming presidential election. Granted, I’m not trying to sway that group of LGBTs who are convinced it’s in their better interest to go with the party that will best protect their million-dollar dividends, rather than their precious families. It’s become clear to me that we do not speak each other’s language or understand each other’s
No, I’m talking here to that gay person—especially in swing states like Ohio and Florida—who perhaps has never voted before, thinking his or her vote doesn’t count. Are you fully aware what the Republican Party says about marriage equality and LGBT Americans’ right to form and protect our own families?
“We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” the GOP’s national platform unequivocally states. “We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so.”
In other words, no gay marriage. No where, no way, no how.
Then there’s a matter of embarrassment by association. Who would choose to be associated with the party that embraces Rush Limbaugh? Though his audience is hardly a body that embraces the concept of evolution, the conservative radio commentator recently shared that the size of the average penis has decreased by ten percent in the past 50 years. Researchers blame pollution; Rush blames “the feminazis, the chickification and everything else.”
Oh, Rush. Postulating further, Rush’s theory makes us wonder: Starting with an average-sized penis of six inches and shrinking at a rate of ten percent each half-century, when does said penis implode upon itself and become a vagina, albeit with a double chin? (Consider this screenplay concept copyrighted, by the way.)
There’s no need for all of the penises
to disappear. Just the dicks, like Rush Limbaugh.
Then there’s that questionable matter of First Lady-Wannabe Ann Romney insisting that she and her husband, multi-millionaire Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, experienced first-hand the plight of the poor and needy in their early years of marriage. “We got married and moved into a basement apartment,” Mrs. Romney recalls of their first years of matrimony. “We ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold-down ironing board in the kitchen. Then our first son came along.”
“Pasta and tuna fish”? First, anyone who’s ever eaten on a limited budget knows it’s not “pasta and tuna fish.” It’s “tuna noodle casserole.” Second, pretty sure Mrs. Romney isn’t recalling her own former apartment. Pretty sure she’s thinking of Laverne and Shirley’s apartment. And that wasn’t the Romneys’ first son who “came along,” that was Lenny and Squiggy. Hello!
As recently as last year, when asked if I would be yanking that metaphorical lever for Barack Obama again, I would respond, “Yes . . . reluctantly.” It seemed promises made to us in the LGBT community were taking soooooo looooong to realize. Nearly three years into the Administration of Hope, gay and lesbian soldiers were still languishing in Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. President Obama himself was stuck in that separate-but-equal, “I-support-civil-unions-but-not-gay-marriage” quagmire.
But all that’s changed. President Obama has made good on his promises to the LGBT community. If he is allowed four more years to complete his mission, we can likely look forward to Supreme Court appointees who will rule that the Defense of Marriage Act defends nothing but bigots’ perceived right to perpetuate hate in the name of religion.
This Election Day, we get to choose what kind of gay people we want to be for the next 50 to 100 years or so. Do we want to be the kind of gay people who agree that our very existence is an affront to what our Founding Fathers—and yes, Founding Mothers—had in mind when they birthed this country, like the Republican Party claims? Do we want to be the kind of gay people who are forced to retreat back into a stilted and stifled Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell existence? Or do we want to be the kind of gay people who live full, validated lives?
Please remember on Tuesday, November 6, as you pull the voting booth curtain behind you, that the Romneys consistently and proudly donate a full ten percent of their bazillion-dollar annual income to the Mormon Church, a tax-exempt organization that’s one of the world’s most powerful opponents of marriage equality. The Romneys’ record of charitable giving makes Chick-fil-A’s paltry poultry contribution of $5 million to other antigay hate groups seem like chickenfeed.
So, Happy Coming Out Day, my friends. Happy Birthday, What a World.
And here’s to a Happy Day-After-Election Day. Hopefully.