Today is #ComingOutDay & +ItGetsBetter Project will be talking to +Carter Gibson about his story. It's a very serious thing - respecting and acknowledging fellow human beings.

Carter is an amazing and brillant person and one of the very first people I met in person from Google+. I sincerely hope that our world changes for him, and I know he will be right there leading the way!
A few thoughts on tomorrow's National Coming Out Day

Tomorrow I have a very special honor: sharing my coming out story with the +It Gets Better Project and Dan Savage. Before I do that though I wanted to share some of my thoughts on what tomorrow means. Tomorrow I believe that we share our stories and words of encouragement to empower youth (and anyone else) with the tag #ComingOutDay ! But coming out is very serious and sensitive and we should all share our ideas and expectations for what tomorrow entails. 

Never force anyone out of the closet
I will never, ever force anyone out of the closet. Ever. Nor would I encourage them to come out if they didn't think it was in their best interest. This is different than encouraging someone to do something that's outside their comfort range. Coming out is never comfortable and the terms of doing so should be individual. At the same time, I have offered the advice that people do come out if they're having trouble being themselves or just can't stand it anymore. That advice isn't given lightly and only comes after some serious cost/benefit analysis. But tomorrow isn't about forcing anyone to do anything. People are not weak for keeping their secret tomorrow.

Tomorrow is about empowering people
When I share my story (which I have shared here before) my goal is to educate people on what worked for me and what didn't as well as empathize with their struggle. I want to give people the confidence to be who they are using my own struggle as an example. Being said I don't want to dwell on the tragedy of my story. This isn't a sympathy bandwagon. I want to focus on the steps I took to deal with my coming out. 

Our power is our voice
We all have something to contribute tomorrow. It could be a word of advice, an adage, our story, or how we reacted to someone else's coming out. We have the power, all of us, to tell people tomorrow that it's going to be okay and that they are supported, even if it's from random people on the internet. This is why we have an audience people. Tomorrow when we use #ComingOutDay  we'll be able to positively affect someone or even completely change their lives.

I also can't lie right now - I'm emotional. I was looking at pictures of Harvey Milk and realized just how important it is that we continue to spread acceptance and let people of every sexuality know that they are loved, accepted, and beautiful. I look forward to seeing what we can all do tomorrow :)

#PridePlus   #LGBT   #ComingOutDay  
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