Ah yes, November is finally here. Football season is in high gear, Hockey and Basketball are starting up, and the holidays are fast approaching. Last month I lashed out in frustration at the usual stuff, but this month I would like to have a more positive outlook. A kinder, gentler EJ? Right. Whatever.
Well, NCOD came and went. Yea. I have posted mix feelings about this event. Granted, I like the concept of NCOD MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, more than "Pride" week just because it has constructive purposes, however some things came up that kind of itched my skin a bit.
My school newspaper had an article about it on the front page. "TODAY is National Coming Out Day" it said.
I was kind of stunned. No one cared, but I was stunned. One thing I thought was very poor about the article: NO ONE interviewed was Gay or Lesbian. NONE. The writer knew me, knew I was out, hell is friends with me, she knew other guys who were out, who were fairly proud and what not. But instead the article said today is NCOD, and most people don't care. That's what it boiled down to. The quotes I loved the most: "Well, I'm not gay, so I really don't care" "I don't think its a big deal, I don't really think they should have a specific day they come out"
Forgive me if the quotes are not true to the paper, I asked the people who were quoted themselves to give me what they said exactly, since college newspapers tend to misquote...eh whatever.
Holy Cow, I DO have a point in all of this folks. As usual, the line has been drawn on the whole US verses THEM thing and people essentially refuse to back the idea of NCOD for fear that they will be attached to whole "gay" thing. MY view on NCOD is that while it kind of bothers me that we have a specific DAY we encourage people to come out... it is a great rally point for everyone, gay and straight to be united. United how? United in the discussion and understanding on the very personal subject of coming out and being gay. Some are gays who look back in reflection, some are straight who remember meeting their first openly gay friend or a relative who came out to them or what not. Some are straight people who are considering coming out soon, that without NCOD would never have considered it. Some are Gay people who have lived for a long time in the closet, who may have the bravery to come out finally. Some are just normal people gay or straight who just want to be supportive of 'Queers' when they come out.
Eh, whatever, lets try and forget about Labels for a second and whoever wants to announce their personal lives, lets be supportive, regardless on who we are, and how we feel about the whole gay issue.
Unlike Pride Week, this is a time when the lines between straight and gay should not exist. EVEN IF all the extremists are right and being Gay is wrong or evil or unhealthy, they should see the IMPORTANCE of coming out, meaning you at least are honest with yourself and the world about what's going on with you and (to the extremists) you can get help. So no one should be against such a day being celebrated. I DO NOT by any means hold such a dark view of homosexuality or NCOD. To me, it's part of the healing from the terror society today brings Gay Youth, and it's part of the discussion we should have about homosexuality and coming out as youth, and it's part of the understanding that dialogue about the subject will lead to knowledge, and the end of homophobia.
The other side of things is this: This is all well and fine, however why ENCOURAGE people to be public about something that really just doesn't matter? I mean, I am openly gay. woo hoo. Ok, the moment is over, normal life will resume... now. THAT is what it should be. Instead, being openly gay and coming out is like "HEY EVERYONE, I AM A FAG!!! LOOK AT ME, LOOK, SAME SEX KISS!!! BE SHOCKED!!! SOMEONE BUY ME A RAINBOW FLAG AND MY DONNA SUMMERS CD"
I would be saddened if NCOD becomes that (although it would be comical I think). And if it takes on the same feeling that Pride Week has, it WILL become just that. It's the whole US verse THEM idea. The idea we can't be ordinary because we are gay. Life should not change when you come out.
You know what I am talking about: when you finally learned that telling the truth wasn't all that bad. Anyway.
Newsflash: "I'm not gay, so I don't care" Well Eric and Chad from my school who said those words... quote me on this one: I am gay, and I do care. And it pisses me off that just because you are not gay, you don't care what your friends or family go through. 'Well, I'm not black, so I don't care about black history month' yeah, that's the breeding ground of fear: lack of understanding. Get over your sexuality folks (gay and straight) and lets make NCOD what it really should be about, people caring for each other.
I hope everyone had a great NCOD. Isn't it great that it comes just before the Holiday Season? It gives us a good month to try to patch things up with shell shocked parents and relatives, and it gives them a good month to decide whether or not they are going to get over such a pointless fact that someone they care about is gay.
Just remember folks, coming out should not be about the shock, because no one really wants to care. It should be about the honesty. Honesty with yourself. If anything, the honesty of being out to yourself is the most important thing. You can't be happy without it. I mean, I know at least ONE straight guy who is reading this who knows what I am saying here.
NCOD should never be about Rainbows. It should be about understanding of this whole gay thing. Drop the labels: Labels are for boxes. For one day out of the year, hide the rainbow flags, hide the us verses them attitude, and let's talk about what it means to come out.
And then lets watch my 49ners finally win a football game.
Peace, Love, Rock n' Roll
Evan James Chasse