Why Coming Out Still Matters

In anticipation of Coming Out Day, 2015, I went back and found my reflection from 2011 on my gratitude for all the courageous LGBTQ people whose coming out has been the central force for the amazing transformation toward inclusion these past four years.

I am still immensely grateful. The need for LGBTQ people — especially those of us in the church — to come out remains crucial for good change. There continue to be LGBTQ people in harm’s way all around the world. Family, police and strangers threaten transgender women every day. In my state, LGBTQ people can marry on the weekend, place a picture of the ceremony on their desk at work on Monday and be summarily fired. In 80 countries around the world, LGBTQ people and their families are subject to criminal arrest.

And we know that the source of some of this threat to LGBTQ people is from churchgoers who base their judgment upon what they have learned in church.

We also know that our coming out is the most effective means to change this. As I described in my 2011 post:

By claiming a place in the church that reflects the place Jesus holds for us before God, we help the whole church waken to the wideness of God’s mercy and love. This spiritual courage is also clear in straight allies who stand with us in the structures of our denominations until the rules change to allow us to openly participate in discerning God’s will for the church.
That transformation in both the church and the world will continue because courageous and faithful LGBT people respond to Jesus’ cry to come out and know the freedom of His Word to let us go.

You can read my full post from that time here. I pray my thoughts convey my gratitude and inspire you to respond to Jesus’ call to come out, whether that be as an ally or as an LGBTQ person yourself.

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