Fifteen years ago, in Indiana, I participated in GLSEN’s “Day of Silence.” What you do is: you don’t talk. You don’t say anything. It’s to raise awareness around bullying and harassment of LGBTQ folks.
Two things happened that day that I remember every year on National Coming Out Day:
1. I went to the hardware store. I forget what I was looking for, but I remember that I couldn’t find it. And because I was being silent, I couldn’t ask for help.
I couldn’t ask for help.
2. I met someone new who struggled to pronounce my name, which was written on my name tag (English wasn’t her first language), and I couldn’t help her with the pronunciation.
I couldn’t even say my name.
So on National Coming Out Day, I think about all the people who can’t ask for help and can’t tell people who they are – not even the people who really want to know who they are.
Things are better now than they were 15 years ago.
Just think how good they might be 15 years from now.